“Lord,” Martha said to Jesus, “if you had been here, my brother would not have died. (John 11:21)
It is almost a year now.
My brother Tony passed away suddenly on 31 Dec 2019. Maybe I wanted to say a thousand times what Martha said to the Lord. But I don’t recall saying much to God at the moment I read the message that “Tony has left us”. Maybe my sorrow told me no point. It is over; too late.
Then as expected, my mother who had been in a coma for 10 months during that period, “followed” Tony two weeks later. They were each other’s best friend. At that point, I couldn’t think of anything useful, meaningful or logical that I could or would want to say to God.
Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.” Martha answered, “I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.” (John 11: 23-24)
Like Martha, I knew that too. But what my mind knows, doesn’t mean my heart resonates. My sorrow then had no place for the truth and the promises of God.
When Tony was a little boy, whenever he went out to play with his friends, my mother would made him bring me along; because he was my babysitter. I remember watching him play marbles with his friends often.
I thought I could take care of him in his old age as he did for me when I was a little girl. But he didn’t get to see much of old age. He was only 64. He drove me around whenever I was back in Melaka. During my visits home, my mother would make him served me tea and he made the best tea!
I didn’t get to take care of him or serve him any tea. I was destined to be his little sister, and it was only for him to take care of me. Maybe he would have it no other way.
Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?” “Yes, Lord,” she replied, “I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.” (John 11:25-27)
Jesus asked Martha if she believed and she said, “Yes, Lord.”
I believe in the power of His resurrection to heal and restore my broken heart and to lift up my downcast spirit. Christ is our victorious and resurrected Lord Who will enable us to move on in life because He is the Giver of Life and Life itself. All that I need in life to move on is found in Him and Him alone.
For I am sure that neither death nor life … nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord. (Rom 8:38-39, ESV)
I will and want to grieve for them as long as I live on this side of the world. Maybe that is how I think I can continue to love them now. But as I turn to Him, the wonder and splendour of His love will also fill my soul and spirit daily. Darkness cannot withstand Light. It will have to disperse.
For us who have suffered the loss of someone dear to our heart – as we sorrow, turn to God. He is more than able to bear our grief and mend our sorrowful heart. Maranatha!
By sister Amy Ong (YCKC Bulletin 14/15 Nov 2020)