Matthew 4:13 When Jesus heard of the death of John the Baptist,
he withdrew in a boat to a deserted place by himself.
Yesterday’s Gospel reading was about the multiplication of the loaves. Father Dean hit on something interesting that I had never thought of. The Gospel began with Jesus finding out about the death of his cousin, John the Baptist. When Jesus heard the news about His cousin’s death, who he was very close to, he wanted to be alone. If you remember John the Baptist was the baby who leapt in his mother’s womb when Mary( who was pregnant with Jesus) came to visit his mother Elizabeth. When Jesus heard the news of John’s death He went out into a boat to be alone with His Father and mourn the death of his cousin, who He loved. It struck me that even today when men are really stressed out they (well my husband anyway) like being out on a boat alone fishing….
As someone who lost a dear friend of mine I found this to be a moment when I can look at Jesus and know that he knows how I felt when I learned of Homer’s death. At the time I didn’t even stop to think of that. Honestly I was mad at God for allowing him to die. Then once the anger left, confusion took its place, then a paralyzing grief. The grief took what seemed like forever to get over.
But yesterday when Father Dean spoke about Jesus going off to be alone with his grief, I realized that Jesus didn’t just take the form of a man for show. God came down in the form of a human so that He could experience what it is like to live on the Earth as a human being. With a human heart and human hurts and struggles as well as the joys. Why would God do that? Because he was bored or just needed some excitement? No. He did it because He loves us. Each one of us, and He loves us so much that he does not ask anyone of us to do something that He himself did not do. So when we go to Him with our hurt and stress we are not going to some God who hasn’t suffered. He didn’t just stay in Heaven sitting on a throne and being God. He came down with us, to walk the same walk we do. He felt the pain of losing people he loved and being hated by people he loved. He was rejected, he was betrayed, He was beaten, and he was loved by His mother and His real friends. That is who God is.
I miss Homer. Even today when I think about him and how much we laughed together I feel a pain in my heart. But now after thinking about who God is, and what Jesus has done for me I may still feel the pain, but I no longer feel alone in it. I know that when I pray and tell Jesus that I still miss Homer, my Tia Elma, my grandparents, and Stacey’s mom; not only does he already know that I do, but he feels my pain.
My comfort comes in the fact that there is nothing that I can’t take to His feet, and that He is always waiting for me to do that. If you have ever lost someone close to you, don’t keep that pain as your own. Give it to God, he knows how you feel and He wants to comfort you.