Updated: Dec 29, 2020
Grief is an outward expression of love, and this suffering too, when based in faith can lead us closer to God.
There are so many among those for whom I pray who are grieving for the death of a loved one, gone before them to eternal life.
There is something about those tears they cry – something compelling.
With all my heart I wish I could take those tears from them. With all my heart I wish their earthly tale could have played out differently. If only their loved ones, and their children had lived longer on this earth. If only they had no cause to grieve. And yet, walking behind them along their journey to Calvary, feeling the splash of their tears against the soles of my wretched feet, I am humbled to be witness to this great beauty of grief.
Years ago, I lost a child before he had even been born. For years I cried heavy tears of grief for that lost one – not understanding his gift of salvation without ever having suffered a single temptation in this world. While I cried those tears, my face grew blotchy and my eyes grew red. My body shrunk and curled upon itself and this physical shell of me, which is all that I have to express the glory of God, felt pain – great and terrible pain.
Through those years, blinded as I was by my tears, I felt so ugly in this sorrow – I could not see the beauty there.
And yet, now, walking behind those with greater grief and larger burdens than mine – whose crosses dwarf my own – with humility I see something of my own experience of sorrow in theirs and through that – I see great beauty.
For God, who turns everything to the GOOD, has turned this too – and there is beauty there in that.
I used to think that there was beauty to be found in a smile – and it is true that there is much beauty to behold in that. But walking behind these chosen few who grieve, I see the purer beauty in tears.
For what greater beauty could there be than the love for another? For what is grief but the heart’s longing to spend but a moment more in the company of one’s beloved?
And what could be more beautiful than that?
In a world that seeks pleasure, and worships the physical perfections evident to the eye, finally, through no merit of my own – but through God’s infinite mercy and forgiveness and grace – my soul can see the beauty of the soul!
Though they say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, I now have cause to wonder, on this slow and steady march towards Calvary, following behind these chosen few, if beauty is in fact, in the actions of the beheld.
As I walk behind those who grieve on their long road to Calvary, I am called by the words of Blessed Carlo Acutis, who was not afraid of death, because he knew that through the incarnation of Christ, “death became life” and the EXTRAORDINARY awaits us in eternity.
If only we could have the wisdom to recognise this grief for the beautiful truth that it is.
Love. Pure love.
And though it is perhaps the hardest thing to endure, why in world would we ever want to change a moment of that?
For through prayer, everything is clear. Here. At the Foot of the Cross.