As a pastor, when I walk up on conversations, they often stop. It leads me to wonder if someone was sharing a dirty joke or if the conversation was just not "spiritual" enough for me to hear. Now, as we work through this week of sorrow I find people struggling, even more, with how to deal with me. Several times I've walked up on people that were laughing and when they caught sight of me they stopped. When our eyes locked it was as if they were saying, "I'm sorry that I was laughing." I know they are trying to be kind. And I know that this is an awkward time in some respects, but it saddens me because the last thing I want to do is to steal someone else's joy.
Really, their joy actually helps me and brings me encouragement. Even if I don't know why someone is laughing, it helps to hear that joy. This week, Monica and I have tickled Maddox, Isaac and Eliza until we thought they were going to explode just because we needed to hear those sweet, little voices laughing.
Paul thought it was important to encourage people that were grieving and hurting. He thought it was important to the point that he offered some suggestions as to what Christians should say to one another. In 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18, he says that we ought to encourage one another with the knowledge and hope that one day there will be a real, bodily resurrection of the dead because of the power of Jesus Christ. Christ has so much power. That's one thing I have thought about at least a thousand times this week. I'm so glad I know the One with ALL authority. I trust Him and I love Him with all of my heart. I hope you know Him and love Him as well.
So, when you see me...don't stop laughing...even if you're laughing at me. And, don't just say, "It will be okay," instead, say, "It will be okay because one day Jesus will raise His children!" Let us long for that day when our faith will be sight!! Come, Lord Jesus!