Monday, June 23, 2008

A Reason to Mourn

Last month a mother died. And as the austere funeral dirge rang out, her little boy cried. The boy cried tears that burned like acid the soul of a child brutally separated from the parent who loved him best. The mother whose body once nurtured and caressed now is reduced to mere ashes in a box. I hear his cries and my blood runs cold. A shiver runs up my spine and I feel my very soul shrivel in sympathy to his ache.

“The wages of sin is death,” Paul wrote to the Romans. Sin is death. Death is the ultimate experience of separation. And what is sin but utter separation from God?

2000 years ago, a Father died in the form of a Son. Yesterday, I invited the enticing emptiness of sin to separate me from that parent who loves me best. But I did not cry.

I fear death. But strangely I do not fear sin in the same way. When I consider the possibility of losing a child or my husband to death, it makes my blood run cold and I tremble. When I consider sin and its cruel separating force cutting me off from God, I shrug my shoulders in something frighteningly akin to indifference. If I loved God half as much as that child loved his mother, the thought of Sin’s separating impact would send me into throes of grief.

Is not God my heavenly father? Does not my sin separate me from Him? Oh God, let me ache and mourn when I sin. Give me pain, grievous pain of bereavement when I allow sin to separate me from you and sever our relationship. Let me recognize it as the death that it is – that you might accomplish true resurrection in me. Amen.

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