We all need help in learning to minister to the bereaved. When you lose someone you love, it leaves a hole in your life.  The depth of that hole depends on the nearness of that person to you.  That’s why the loss of an acquaintance hurts, but only for a short time.  The loss of a close friend, however, hurts much longer.   Keeping this in mind helps me understand why, even with the loss of a friend, most of us are able to pick up and move on more quickly…much more so than those who have lost a spouse or child.   The hole left in our life, though significant, is not nearly as deep as theirs.  Knowing this reminds me that I must continue to express a greater depth of compassion for those who have experienced this deeper loss.  They can’t just “pick up and move on”.  A larger part of their life is now missing.  They need me to stay closer to them, to pray for them and to grieve with them longer than I would do, if it were just about me. But it’s not just about me.  It’s about them, and the love Christ would have me show them, for His sake.  Deep wounds do not heal in a matter of weeks or even months.  I must be prepared to love those who grieve, over the long haul.  In that way, I can take part in fulfilling Christ’s promise, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted”  (Mt 5:4)

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