I’ve seen grief up close and personal. Like most people, I’ve experienced it, too. It’s heavy, and although there are times a person feels “fine,” something can come out of the blue and conjure up those dark feelings. Where can a person turn for peace?
Yesterday morning before attending a visitation for a church member, I read a chapter in Good Book by David Plotz, a random reading choice. Or was it? It just so happened that I read the author’s commentary on King David’s behavior after the death of his infant son. Before the baby died, David “weeps, fasts, and pleads with God to spare the child.” After the boy dies, David “prays, then returns home, and promptly sits down for a big meal, his first in a week.”
On the surface, David’s behavior seems callous. His feelings seemingly have taken a 180-degree turn. But when his servants ask how he could now be eating so heartily (my word) after the weeping and fasting of the week before, David responds with conviction and certainty that fasting will not bring the boy back. While the child lived, the king had hope that fasting, weeping, and pleading might persuade God to spare the little one’s life.
“But now he is dead, wherefore should I fast? can I bring him back again? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me.” 2 Samuel 12:23
I’m holding on to that thought.
Is it coincidental that I came across that forgotten situation an hour before seeing grief up close and personal? I don’t know. I was glad to be able to share it with my friend. No matter how much weeping, wailing, gnashing of teeth, pleading, or railing against the powers that be, nothing can bring back our lost loves. But we can go to them.
P.S. No stranger to grief, my husband lost one of his sons six years ago, and I often say something like, “Every day you live brings you closer to the time you’ll see him again.” I think that thought comforts him.
And I hope it comforts you. “I shall go to him.”