Monday, March 31, 2008

A start

Last night we had dinner with our closest friends. As the conversation wound around, J finally said, "And I'm missing my mom." I immediately welled up. His mom died in December and he's been crying almost every day. I know what that's like. The year my dad died, there were so many tears on my face, my cheeks were raw, and I could have sworn the salt was wearing grooves into my skin. I carried around some of Dad's old soft handkerchiefs to wipe off the drips when they embarrassed other people. So I got it, I really got it, when J said he feels like he has a sinus headache all the time from trying not to bawl. It's this club you don't understand until you're thrust into it, and then you have a secret handshake--and it's dripping with tears.

Then I come to the story of Jesus crying with Mary, and I think, he's in that club too. He gets it. Come to think of it, Joseph, the carpenter, had died sometime in Jesus' youth. We know that. So Jesus, just like most of us, had buried a parent. He didn't come to Lazarus's grave unused to death. He welled up, because he got it--he was in the club. He knew what Mary felt. And it didn't matter that in another minute he was going to be calling Lazarus straight out of that tomb, because in that moment, just like in our moments, grief is grief, and he's in it with us.