As mentioned in the Quotes post, this week’s quote is a poem that was given to me when my partner passed away in 1995. It helped me a lot then, and it’s helped me several times since. It reminds me of the hope and the promise we have through Jesus.
I invite you to close your eyes and imagine Mary Magdalene at Jesus’ tomb. She’s standing there, weeping, mourning the loss of her Lord; and worse, it seems his body has been stolen away. When Jesus appears to her, picture him saying,
Do not stand at my grave and weep.
I am not there. I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow;
I am the diamond glints on snow;
I am the sunlight on ripened grain;
I am the gentle autumn rain.
I am the quick uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circling flight.
I am the soft star that shines at night.
Do not stand at my grave and cry.
I am not there, I did not die.
~Mary Frye, 1932
Most, if not all of us, have experienced loss – loss of a parent, grandparent, brother or sister, spouse or partner, child, grandchild, or friend. When we lose someone, we experience many emotions – shock, disbelief, anger, loneliness, depression, guilt, numbness, and finally, acceptance. This is the normal cycle of grief.
Sometimes, we move back and forth through the stages and emotions. Perhaps we’ve reached the stage of acceptance. Then, out of the blue, something happens, we forget for just a moment, and we set a place for our loved one at the table. Though shorter this time, the cycle begins again.
There’s not a day that goes by that I don’t think of my beautiful little granddaughter, Chevelle. What would she be like? What would make her laugh? What games would she like to play?
My parents, too…though it’s been a few years since they passed, events will happen and I’ll think, “I need to call Mom” or “I need to tell Dad about this.” Briefly, the pain resurfaces. But, it’s sting doesn’t hurt quite so much.
Though no longer physically here, our loved ones are always with us as long as we remember. Easter is a time for us to remember and to celebrate the Hope that we have in Christ. His death and resurrection, and the promise of everlasting life, is the cornerstone of our faith. He has gone ahead to prepare a place for us with God.
By this Hope and this Promise, we know that He and our loved ones are all around us. Though gone physically, their spirit lives on. As the poem says, they’re all around us – in the wind, in the sunlight on the grain, the soft star shining at night.
Paul’s words are for us all…O death, where is your sting? O grave, where is your victory? Thanks be to God who has given us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.
And St. Peter sums it up beautifully…Blessed be God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who by His abundant mercy has again renewed us spiritually to a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead…to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled, that does not fade away and is prepared in heaven for you, while you are kept by the power of God through faith for the life eternal…wherein you will rejoice forever…though at present you are sorrowful for a while…
Yes, pain and sorrow, grief, depression, sickness – even death – have been destroyed. The tomb is empty. “Do not stand at my grave and cry. I am not there…I did not die.”
CHRIST IS RISEN! ALLELUIA!!
- John 20:13
- John 20:15
- John 14:2 & 3
- 1 Corinthians 15:55-57
- 1 Peter 1:3-6
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