Grief and Honesty

Anonymous asked:

How do you deal with the death of a family member or friend who does not know Christ?

I answered:

I am sorry that you are going through this. I have been through the same thing and it is simply terrible. Unfortunately there is no magic answer here. You have to deal with it however you deem best. If you need to cry, cry. If you need to sit in a dark room listening to sad music for a couple of days, do it. If you need to eat an almost inconceivable amount of ice cream, do it.

There is no un-Christian way to grieve. That message goes especially for smiling, vacant eyed church people who will prattle on and on about “a better place” and “God needing another angel”. And even more so for the death of someone you know didn’t believe in Jesus. That situation knocks out even the sunday school answers, unhelpful as they are. It brings up some big feelings and some big questions.

Jesus is not threatened by, or angry at, your feelings or your questions. The worst thing you can do for your heart is try to figure all this stuff out on your own, and then evaluate your feelings and thoughts about God afterwards. God wants to be involved in your life, your grief as well as your joy.

There are big questions in this situation about salvation and the nature of God’s character. Those are questions beyond human understanding to reason out, and you can get some pretty jacked up ideas in your grief, and some people might try to sell you on some jacked up ideas.

“God, this sucks, I am pissed at you about it, and right now I think you are a spiteful, unfair, terrible being. What the hell?” is a prayer, believe it or not. It is addressing God honestly and looking for an answer, that is the very epitome of prayer. No faking off, no trying to say the right thing, just being real and messy. That doesn’t always lead to tidy answers, but it leads to a deeper relationship, and it is the way forward with God.

-Matt from The Bridge

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