I finished reading Love Does by Bob Goff about a month ago, and it’s been prompting a dialogue in my mind since then.
On Tuesday night, a high schooler from my home church’s youth group took his own life. Like a ripple from an explosion, everyone affected has been reeling and wondering what we do now.
Because once someone is gone, we can’t do anything for them anymore. We’ve had all our chances to do what love does. We entrust them to God, the ultimate Lover of our souls, the one who did everything to be in relationship with us. That’s where the hope and the peace come from, if not right away, then in time.
But we’re still here, aren’t we?
And we’re left with this question: what does Love do when someone felt hopeless and is gone now? What does Love do in the aftermath?
I can’t help but think that there must be something more than offering condolences. What does Love do now? What did Jesus do when people died? Well, He brought them back to life, didn’t He?
The enemy has come to steal, kill, and destroy, but Jesus came so we could have life. Not eternal life on earth (but we wouldn’t want that anyways) but to always live in communion with God, whether in body or in Spirit.
If Jesus brought them back to life, what do we – humans – do? How do we love? Bringing people to life is Jesus’ work, which we only have a part in.
In an action-based society, we want a list of ten things to do for grieving people or a top-seven of how to make a difference in people’s lives who are hurting to the point of contemplating suicide. We want steps to take and concrete results.
But I think that Steven Curtis Chapman said it best:
“I will carry you to Jesus.
He is everything you need.
I will carry you to Jesus on my knees.”
Not only is this all we have, but He is all we need.
All. As in, everything. As in, it may take time and it may not be easy, but it’s more effective than our top-ten lists. Surely, Jesus will prompt His people to act in tangible ways that comfort those who mourn, but the best thing we can do it carry them (and ourselves, because we’re still reeling, too) to Jesus, faithfully.
He is everything we need.