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Saturday, March 31, 2018

Easter and Grief

I can confidently say I've never fully grasped the power of Easter until this year.

My life was full of doubts.  As I witnessed acquaintances find deep comfort in Heaven as their loved one passed, I wondered if I would find the same comfort if I ever lost someone dear.  Did I really believe in paradise that Jesus promised to the thief hanging next to him on the cross?

 Like so many lessons in life, I wish I had been sure of this particular belief without the accompanying experience;

I want patience without waiting.

I want love without vulnerability.

I want wisdom without experience.

I want appreciation without  loss.

I know what I believe about Easter, my doubts are gone. I know with all my heart where my brother-in-love Caleb is today. He was only 36 , with a fiance and four young children, too much life still left to live. He loved with all his heart, including his love for his Savior.

I know where he is, but I am still selfish. I want our brother back. I want my beloved mother and father-in-law to have never felt the pain of losing a child.  I want my husband to have his big brother back. I want Caleb to be the one to raise his four kids. I want him to spend a lifetime here with the newly found love.

I am thankful  to know that for the 16 years I was his little sister-in-love, I felt protected and loved.

It is OK to believe he in paradise, and still weep.  Jesus wept.  Jesus wept when Lazarus was in the grave, even with the full knowledge he could call him back. If Jesus wept over loss, I can too.

As we weep, my heart knows the joy and grief is mixed together.

When I really ponder on where he is, I couldn't wish him back to this world of pain.

Our brother was carpenter. He loved wood working and building something from nothing.  Caleb rushed into new fun wood working projects with an excitement that was contagious. How my heart aches with joy that Caleb is spending eternity with Jesus the Carpenter.

As much we we loved him, Caleb was always infuriatingly showing up to his own surprise party an hour late! That guy would be so excited with whatever he was doing in the moment, that all other obligations fell away.  If you were waiting on him, it was infuriating, but if you were the one he was with, it made you feel deeply valued.

He is now the one waiting for us, and I bet he can't wait to share paradise.  I am not happy about his death, but I have never felt the true joy of the Easter deeper. The joy is Easter is not happy, it is painful.

Praise you Lord. Praise you for your defeat of death.  Thank you for this beautiful & painful salvation.

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