They didn’t expect to find Jesus in the grief and misery of death row—but he showed up.
The Green Mile is a film starring Tom Hanks as the “boss” prison guard over death row. Hanks and his comrades didn’t expect Jesus to be confined here, but he appeared in the form of an enormous African American male with limited mental capacities, accused of kidnapping and killing a little girl. And the color of his skin assured his conviction. Only after a few miracles did they discern he was more than a mere man.
Grief also clouded Mary’s ability to recognize Jesus when he appeared to her after his resurrection. She thought he was the gardener. “Sir,” she said, “if you have taken him away, tell me where you have put him (John 20:15).”
Grief is a God-created element of the human mechanism, designed to help us process life’s hurts. The old adage that “men and boys don’t cry” was erroneous when taught and still is today. Tears cleanse when grief clouds.
But even good grief can turn sour when held onto longer than proper or when processed erroneously. Mary grieved because her Savior had been mercilessly crucified. What she failed to realize—because grief clouded her mind, was that the Spirit couldn’t arrive until he left.
People grieve on different timetables and in various manners. Thinking a person should have gotten over it by now may just be my conclusion and not reality for them. But neither is turning to addictive substances to process my grief the proper course. Regardless of how difficult life is, Jesus is always present. Entered into properly, grief is good.
When you’re experiencing loss, remember God never leaves you. He’s with you through the grieving process and into the future beyond.
Prayer: Merciful Lord, thank You for Your loving presence with us through the losses of life.
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