We shared two stories yesterday. She told hers. I told mine. Related and so heartbreakingly and joyfully different. She praises, I ask for prayer. This is what it means to rejoice with those who rejoice, and mourn with those who mourn. I think this the night before while we listen to one girl share her joy and another girl share her opposite pain.
I think for a long time I have been under the impression that when the Bible says to mourn with those who mourn and rejoice with those who rejoice, it means that we ought to keep quiet about our joy when someone is mourning and also shut up about our mourning when others are sharing joy. But I am not so sure this is true. And I'm also not so sure that it is fully for the benefit of the other person that we do so.
Because I am thinking this this morning, while my heart is breaking for a friend, this pain is so acute coupled with such a miracle as the one shared yesterday: opposites attract, perhaps, but how can we mourn unless we first understand joy? And how can we find joy unless we have been surprised by it amongst mourning? A plateau of joy becomes meaningless and a life of mourning becomes misery.
No. Instead we punctuate our telling and our living with both, we share; we piggyback stories and experiences, pains and pleasantries. We tell them in the same breath because how else could we understand what it means to feel and feel deeply for ourselves and for others. To tell does not diminish the telling of another's experience, no, it offers hope or warning. This is how we reconcile. This is how we bridge the gap in which we all live, teetering on the edge of glory and death. This is our ministry of reconciling.
It keeps our hearts open and our joys apparent. It keeps our tears present and our pains palpable. I know.
It keeps us in a constant awareness of our need for Jesus and gratefulness for what has been accomplished on the cross. It says with our lives to the Great Reconciler: I believe. Help my unbelief.