The press seek comment from local representatives but words seem totally inadequate. Our thoughts and prayers are sincere but feel powerless.
I read in the Scripture, ‘The Lord is close to the broken hearted’ (Psalm 34 v 18) but how? Are these just more words?
Something I’ve thought about increasingly in recent times is the thirty or so years Jesus lived in quiet obscurity in small town Gallilee. Almost nothing is known. What was He doing?
A clue may be hinted in John 1 v 14: ‘The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us.’
The Lord ‘made His dwelling’, He made His home here as part of His creation, among people like us. He was a member of a family, no stranger to birthdays, hugs, squabbles and feuds. He was present when someone local celebrated their wedding or the birth of a child, equally He must have attended not a few wakes!
Some of these would no doubt have had tragic circumstances.
He witnessed our laughter, and our tears, shared some little triumphs and some deep tragedies too. Even later, when during His public ministry he was healing the sick and raising some from death, He paused to weep with Mary and Martha in the cemetery. (John 11) It’s an amazing, beautiful picture, the Son of God standing with us, feeling our devastation.
He stood beside family, neighbours, workmates, team members on good days and bad, sharing it all. The difference I suppose is that when the time came, He was able to do something that would change things forever. His death paid for our guilt. Those who humbly trust Him need not fear judgement.
We still grieve our loss, words cannot express how deeply, but we find comfort and strength from beyond ourselves. The Apostle Paul writes: ‘We believe that Jesus died and rose again and so we believe that God will bring with Jesus those who have fallen asleep in Him.’ So we don’t grieve like those ‘who have no hope’. (1 Thessalonians 4 v 13-14)
In Jesus we are comforted with hope of better to come. Meanwhile He is living and not far away but truly ‘close to the broken hearted.’
(With prayerful condolences to the families and friends bereaved in recent tragic events in Donegal)