“Lord, if you had been here, my brother would not have died.” John 11:21
There’s no point in being dishonest with God. I know that in my own prayer life I can too often have a thought in the back of my mind (“Why did God let this happen?” “Why doesn’t God fix this?” “What isn’t this easier?”), but I will not speak that thought to God, and instead pray something that sounds more holy and pious instead.
Today is All Saints Day, when we remember those who have died before us and have achieved what our bodies and souls long for: seeing God face-to-face.
As I get older, the list of saints I remember grows longer. Too long. My grandparents. My childhood pastor. My brother. And the list will only continue to grow.
There are times when I look at that list, and I want to cry out with Martha: “Lord, you could have done something! You could have stopped this!”
What I love about Jesus is that in Martha’s deepest moment of doubt and despair, Jesus reveals Himself most fully to her. When she blurts out her most honest thought, Jesus shows His most honest self. “I am the resurrection and the life.” He doesn’t reject her for her doubt. He doesn’t shove her aside for her honesty. Rather, He embraces her as she is, and loves her all the more.
So as we remember our dead today, we can be honest with God. We can wish they weren’t dead. We can wish that God would have healed the cancer, stopped the heart attack, stopped the car from crashing. We can bring to God our doubts, our heartaches, our most honest prayers.
But we also remember that God is transforming us into saints; transforming us into immortal beings capable of gazing into the face of the living God, and knowing His immeasurable love.
Today I remember:
Saint David Parrott
Sant George Henkler
Saint Phyllis Gates
Saint Donald Gates
Saint Dan Cloud