This week’s blog post was inspired by a most wonderful encounter that I had with an elderly woman, [we will call her name Clara] who was physically struggling with upper respiratory issues that were associated with flu-like symptoms and perhaps the onset of pneumonia.
As I entered into Clara’s personal space, she possessed the most beautiful blue eyes that somehow, lacked light as she tried her very best to avoid direct eye contact during the initial phase of our encounter. She without effort, physically wore externally on her face, the inner pain of struggle, heartache, and uncertainty, like a winter blanket.
In our conversation, I discovered that this fragile soul was grieving the loss of her two sons. The eldest most recently divorced and would later commit suicide. The younger son died many years ago as an infant child. Needless to say, such open and honest personal disclosure opened up the floodgate of tears associated with her expressed loss. She openly wept and cough bitterly as I provided her with tissue, as Clara was soon, able to regain her composure.
Shortly after all of the tears had stopped as I comforted our Sister, I was greeted with anger and discuss as Clara begin to communicate to me that those people in her inner-circle, keep telling her that she needs to “get over it” she should just “move on” with her life! Those persons in her life at her most vulnerable time, would not permit her to mourn.
It was at this point that I realized that Clara’s chief problem was not necessarily physical. She was struggling with her spiritual and emotional inner life, while literally everything around her that she loved, was taken from her.
Researchers from the spiritual and psychological communities have revealed that during periods of profound loss and or the bereavement process of human-beings, our cognitive world often-times are turned upside down. It is during these times that all if not most of our assumptions, beliefs, and worldview are strained if not shattered.
Because human-beings are essentially order-seeking creatures, any matters that produces an unexpected upheaval to our need of control and order often is catastrophic. How many people do you know that have developed the daily mindset that at any time, “I might not be able to cope with everyday life.”
How many people do you know that rehearse in their mind on a daily basis, what does it feel like to become vulnerable and helpless? What healthy,
It is during this collapse in our briefs and assumption about this world and our position and abilities within the world that can lead to what is called a spiritual crisis. Whether one is facing issues of revealed sinful conditions, various types of loss, death or feelings of hopelessness, each of us will be challenged into confronting our need of reconstructing our distorted assumptions and worldviews.
The Master’s “Sermon on the Mount” in Matthew 5:4 spiritually denotes Messiah’s theme of spiritual blessedness of those followers who mourn [“to experience deep grief”], due to sins within and those sins outside of us on our spiritual journey on earth. The irony, however, is that throughout the Bible, “blessed” usually means “happy.” Yet in reading the context of Matthew 5, blessed means “an enviable state.” An example is when a person has acquired some type of good fortune in the world’s perspective, they are called blessed. Yet in the Beatitudes, The Master calls followers blessed when their souls are moved to mourn!
Those followers of The Master, who are spiritually aware of how the Holy Spirit has revealed the evil of their own hearts can now, attain an “enviable state of soulful blessedness” regardless of what they must endure in this fallen and broken world. Our Master’s brilliance in His presentation and demonstration of the Beatitudes provided a much needed spiritual contrasting worldview for followers of The Master, as opposed to all others, who believe and follow the world’s perspective on matters of what constitutes happiness and wholeness, as well as how one experiences spiritual prosperity.
Everything about the Beatitudes is there to forever remind all disciples of The Master that we cannot seek happiness the way the world does. Within the Kingdom of God, true joy is not found in selfish ambition, excuses or self-pride or justification. Our provisions of blessedness comes to those who mourn over their own sins, the sins of others, and the sins of this present evil age.
Such as those who are soulful in their mournful blessedness, they endure for the sake of The Messiah, and the proclamation and demonstration of the message of The Kingdom of God which is the essence of the Gospel. Grace and mercy are made available to all those who sympathize with others in their affliction.
The second spiritual takeaway is that These, however sorrowful and distressed they may appear, are blessed for they shall be comforted here in this current space and time. For it is God who is our comfort, “These are the ones I look on with favor: those who are humble and contrite in spirit, and who tremble at my Word.” [Isaiah 66:2]
Finally, within the Kingdom of God, our Father is calling some of us to serve if not function in the calling of daily mourning over one another as we all are daily living yet ever closer to our own death. This example is made evident in the outward display of total love and devotion for The Messiah by Mary in [John 12:3]. She poured costly ointment on His living flesh, preparing His healthy body for burial.
How many family members, friends, neighbors have died without you and I extending the Love of God, The Gospel message of repentance to their souls while they were alive? Did we live and successfully demonstrate before them, His grace and mercy, and provided them with random acts of kindness on their behalf before their transition?
The author Mike Mason writes there very poignant challenge for those of us who still remain, that somehow we must learn to mourn our loved while they are yet alive, not waiting until they are gone and our grief does no one but ourselves any good. He continues by expressing that this “type” of love is sort of a “Wake,” in that it is wonderful, a devotion, faithful daily acts of tribute of those who we love, while they are with us.
Grace and Peace
New American Standard Bible; Matthew 5:4, John’s Gil’s Exposition of the Bible, Matthew 5:4 Commentary, Got Questions.org [What does blessed are those who mourn mean?], Spiritual Crisis, Encyclopedia of Death and Dying. “The Mystery of Marriage: Meditations on the Miracle,” by, Mike Mason.