Luke 24: 25-27
Jesus listened to the two men walking to Emmaus as they shared their crushed hopes. He listens as we pour out our despair to him. The men did not realize it was the risen Jesus walking with them on their journey. Often we do not recognize Jesus as he walks with us. When they shared about their despair, Jesus did not lecture, did not guilt, did not tell them they were wrong but helped them build an alternate explanation by going back to the prophets and the history of the Jewish people. Suffering is part of the journey!
Grief isolates us and we can easily feel the universe is upset with us or that we have done something wrong for which we are being punished. Grief gives us tunnel vision and we focus on our little woe-is-me. Jesus helps the men broaden their thinking. I worked at a suicide call -n line for a couple years post college. People contemplating suicide cannot perceive the resources at their disposal. Talking helps them see a bigger picture and helps them reconnect with their humanity. When we collapse in on ourselves we are being foolish.
As we review the lessons and stories of history and listen to the struggles of others we are able to agree with Paul that our struggle in Ephesians 6:10-17:
10 Finally, be strong in the Lord and in the strength of his power. 11 Put on the whole armor of God, so that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. 12 For our struggle is not against enemies of blood and flesh, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the cosmic powers of this present darkness, against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly places. 13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, so that you may be able to withstand on that evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. 14 Stand therefore, and fasten the belt of truth around your waist, and put on the breastplate of righteousness. 15 As shoes for your feet put on whatever will make you ready to proclaim the gospel of peace. 16 With all of these, take the shield of faith, with which you will be able to quench all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.
The truth, we are not alone, Jesus walks with us. We need truth, righteousness, peace, faith, salvation and the Holy Spirit to teach us the Word of God. May we remember this when we feel crushed. Let us not be foolish. And may we remind others that they are not alone and help them to see their resources. Blessings.