I hate my job. I sometimes do. I love it, too. Most of the time. But not on weeks like this. Not when I'm talking about death a lot. Not when I'm mourning with those who mourn. Not when I'm telling hundreds of people that someone who loved them well has died. Not when I'm planning my weekend around planning a funeral. And especially when the funeral is for my friend.
It's hard. And I hate it.
And I love it, too. I love mourning .. because it always come from a place of love. If something, or someone, isn't loved, a hole isn't left empty. And I love helping people mourn... celebrating the gift of life, celebrating the life gifts of that person. And even when I weep, it's somehow sweet.
Maybe it has to do with losing my friend and co-worker, sitting across the table from her two daughters talking about funeral stuff.... And then there were those tornadoes.... And we're buying a house. All rolled into one, and my mind can't stop thinking about how temporary all this is. And how, even the hurt is tempered with joy. And even the joy is tempered with hurt.
Maybe that's what Paul was talking about... that everything we have - our marriages, our secret pains, our delights, our homes - all of it can be gone in a flash. All of it eventually will be gone. But, in Christ, we will someday be with our Eternal Bridegroom. Our secret pains will be healed. God Himself will be our joy. Our home will be a mansion built by Jesus... and it will last forever and ever.
My friend's little boy was "reading" a book that covered the whole Bible in a few pages. With every picture he told a little bit more of the continuous story. When he was finished he said, "And they lived happily ever after".
And that's our real story. And that's the story of my friend who thought she had a stomach ache three weeks ago. And that's the story of the parents who sent their kids to school on a stormy day. And the ones who can't find anything in the rubble. And that's the story of my job: to make sure no one mistakes this life for the one that's forever.
And well, I guess that even though it is so hard some days, I have the best job on earth.
1 Corinthians 7:29-31New International VersionWhat I mean, brothers and sisters, is that the time is short. From now on those who have wives should live as if they do not; those who mourn, as if they did not; those who are happy, as if they were not; those who buy something, as if it were not theirs to keep; those who use the things of the world, as if not engrossed in them. For this world in its present form is passing away.