"It is better to go to a house of mourning
than to go to a house of feasting,
for death is the destiny of every man;
the living should take this to heart."
~Ecclesisates 7:2 (NIV)
I was in the house of mourning yesterday. Among family and strangers I sat at the funeral service of a distant relative. My grief was not so strong and near because of the loss of this precious person to me, rather I shared the grief of her closest family, the heaviness of their loss of one so dear. I have felt that kind of grief. The kind that makes the phrases, "broken hearts". The kind that feels like your insides are being ripped or you feel so hollow inside- a space that will not be filled again. I sympathized with them.
The orator of the service read most appropriate scriptures of having faith in Jesus to resurrect our bodies unto everlasting life. I ruminated the spiritual state of the souls in his audience. I silently prayed that His words would be heard by them enough to make a saving difference.
It is better to go to the house of mourning. Do you think that strange? Probability states that you have already visited one or will soon. I sat in the house of mourning yesterday and I got it. To leave her rooms without understanding would be almost impossible. Especially when there lay spread before you a body. A dead body. No life what so ever in it. A carcass really. But because of the dignity of the human life in which it encased we do not use that word. To those whose lives intertwined with hers that body represented life- a cherished life filled with stories, memories. But the breath of life was taken from the body into the next chapter. That was evident.
We grieve. Yet not without HOPE. We have hope because we have FAITH that He who says we will be resurrected will indeed DO it for us. Yet, the shortness of this life is also so blatantly evident. A flower quickly fading. I get it. I am remembering today to ask the Lord to "teach us to number our days, that we may gain a heart of wisdom". (Psalm 90:12)
The "house" in the above scripture is synonymous with "family". It means a dwelling of great containment literally or figuratively- to obtain children. Yesterday, the day was spent reminiscing and sharing events and hearts with one another, meeting new generations. All that matters is PEOPLE. In the end when this chapter of our lives is complete all that will have mattered is relationships. Our relationship with our Father. Our relationships with those closest to our hearts. Our relationships with fellow human beings.