2017-12-15 / Chaplain's News

Not everyone is happy dealing with a loss

Chaplain (Maj.) Tim Stiers
Cyber Protection Brigade

The shortest verse in the Christian Bible is also one of the most powerful. The verse is only two words, “Jesus wept” (John 11:35, NIV). He wasn’t weeping for himself. He approached friends grieving over the death or their brother.

The passage explains, “When Jesus saw her weeping, and the Jews who had come along with her also weeping, he was deeply moved in spirit and troubled” (11:33).

What a great example of helping a grieving friend! Jesus came alongside his friends and grieved with them. He didn’t try to make them feel better with empty words or minimize their pain. This event was moments before raising Lazarus from the dead.

Earlier in Scripture we read of many different times or seasons, “a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance, … a time to be silent and a time to speak,” (Ecclesiastes 3:4,7, NIV). Pete Seeger captured this idea in his song, “Turn! Turn! Turn!” made famous by the Byrds in 1965.

Another example in Scripture of helping a grieving friend is Job’s three “comforters.” Job lost everything. His wife told him to curse God and die. His three friend heard of Job’s sorrow.

“When they saw him from a distance, they could hardly recognize him; they began to weep aloud, and they tore their robes and sprinkled dust on their heads. Then they sat on the ground with him for seven days and seven nights. No one said a word to him, because they saw how great his suffering was.” (Job 2:12, 13, NIV).

Again, what a great example of helping a grieving friend. This story continues with the friends deciding to speak. They ruined the example with their personal thoughts as to why Job was suffering.

Not everyone is happy during the holidays. Many are in the midst of loss. The loss might be the death of a relative; a child or a parent. The loss might be the death of a friend or a relationship breakup. The loss might be a job or a recent change of duty station. The loss might be a deployed loved one unable to visit home for the holidays.

Take some time to be aware of those around who might be grieving. Treat them like you would want others to treat you in the midst of your grief.

This year the Cyber Center of Excellence Chaplain Office will sponsor the Blue Christmas Service.

This event is a gentle contemplative Christian Communion Service for those who are carrying pain or loss during this season of celebration. The service is Thursday, Dec. 21 at the Bicentennial Chapel at 7 p.m.

Go to a grieving friend and invite them to attend this Blue Christmas Service, with you!

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