Blessed Are Those Who Mourn

By Joel A. Hess

Once again, our national community wails in outrage over the death of innocent people by the hands of some madmen. We mourn. We throw a temper tantrum. We vow to fix it. And we should attempt to do so. Some say gun laws, others better detection and treatment of mental illness. We should strive for a society that has few if none mass killings. It would be inhumane not to desire such an outcome.

But it will happen again.

So mourn.

Blessed are those who mourn.

Meanwhile, I sat beside a frightened woman today who had her left breast marked to be removed. She grabbed my hand, and we prayed for healing, peace, and some good to come out of it. Her husband had just begun to recover from colon cancer. Both their bodies seemed to be falling apart. Everything is falling apart.

We held hands and we mourned.

Blessed are those who mourn.

A woman sits alone still questioning her divorce and why she is still alive. She lives with sin against her, and she knows she is somewhat responsible. She feels empty. She can’t even cry. She struggles to get up with pills and counselors, prayers and Jesus. She mourns. We mourn.

Blessed are those who mourn.

Every day, a hurtful word is hurled between son and mother. A boy stares at porn on his phone and can’t get it out of his head. A girl whose father left her when she was 12 chooses jerks for boyfriends, and now she is pregnant. A man began drinking as a teenager, but it turns out he doesn’t have the genes that can handle that sort of thing, so now he’s trying to pretend to be sober so he doesn’t lose his third job this year. Each Sunday, these ragtag followers confess their sins and mourn over themselves and their decisions, over the harm they have caused and has been caused by them.

Blessed are those who mourn.

You don’t have to turn on the TV to mourn. Open your eyes and ears and look around your life. We have made a mess of things. We are all tyrants of our own disasters. And we are victims to boot.

Our culture doesn’t encourage mourning. We think we have to fix everything. We think we can fix everything. People actually believe that the right laws, right technology, and the right medicine will make every bad thing go away. Little do they know that THEY are the source of that bad thing, like the poor fellow who had the alien in him all along in the movie, wait for it, Alien.

Even Christians hate mourning. How many people ask the pastor to make the funeral a “celebration.” How many times have I heard, “So and so wouldn’t want us to cry.” We even change the language from death to “pass away.” Death sucks! It’s OK to mourn!

Jesus says, “Blessed are those who mourn!”

So mourn. Don’t pretend it doesn’t stink. Don’t pretend it’s all OK. It’s not! This world is a crap hole!

“Blessed are those who mourn,” Jesus says. He isn’t handing out philosophical platitudes. Unlike you or me who say “blessed and blessings” way too often, when Jesus says blessed, he means it.

For the one who said it, is the one who died himself. For the world. For the mass shooter. For the junkie. For the divorcee and the depressed. For the sinner. For you and me.

And as they came to his tomb mourning. They were blessed. We were blessed. He is risen!

So, if Jesus says you will be blessed and comforted one day, you can believe it! For real. Those people who were gunned down in Texas? They will rise. That woman struggling with depression and her past? We will rise with a new body and a new mind.

Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted!”

Go ahead and mourn it all, for a day is coming where there will be no more sin, death, or Satan. There will be no more tears. There will be no more massacres, cancer, broken marriages, child abuse, or addiction. May that future reality which is tied into the historical resurrection of the Son of God comfort you today!

Blessed are those who mourn.