Anniversaries of Pain

Twenty years ago, that terrible tragedy occurred. Thousands were killed while millions stared at news bulletins in abject horror, and the wraiths of war stalked bunkers and HQs of national security services and politicians. I watched with sickening horror the repeated footage of planes crashing into buildings and America bracing herself for further attacks, while hastily re-grouping her sprawling military ahead of some inevitable act of global vengeance.

I was laying on my grandmother’s bed, watching the news of the attacks. I switched off the set, and retreated into my own private bubble of grief. Two days before, that bed’s owner had died. Whatever terrors were being unleashed on America, I had my own burden to bear, one smaller than others’, perhaps, but little easier to handle. I lay sobbing for my loss, the tears soaking into her old pillows. Her clothes hung in the wardrobes, her perfume sat on the cabinet, her favourite photographs on the wall. The death of a pensioner was hardly newsworthy, especially when so many thousands had that very day perished in the most dreadful manner. Yet for me, the world had crashed already.

Grief and pain, on whatever scale, is the awful weight each of us must carry. This fallen world is characterised by death and separation, whether on a large scale or small scale. I thank God that the Lord Jesus speaks through, and in, our pain. He Himself grieved for both Jerusalem and its dreadful fate, and for Lazarus, the family friend who died too young. Whether you are affected by international tragedies or you own, private pockets of heartbreak, look to Jesus. He is a High Priest who knows our weaknesses, not through some vast reservoir of omniscience, but through real and bitter experience.

Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.

Image by Wallula from Pixabay