Mourning
Saturday, April 11, 2009 at 10:10PM
Living with Freaks

Today is a sad day. I hate days like today.

Today, a brother and sister who have been part of our church for years are leaving. In a sense, they had left some time ago (in terms of connection to us and attendance at meetings). But this weekend, they are moving. They are physically leaving us, and it's hard for me.

It's interesting how I define "leaving." It's really difficult to say when someone leaves and when someone becomes part of us. Obviously, we have no membership card or roster. Some people in our church have never and perhaps will never live in the same neighborhood that many of us do. So it's not just the fact that this couple is moving. Living close together is not a requirement to be part of God's people, although I do think it's a great benefit. But having already lived in the neighborhood, and knowing that they moved into the neighborhood for the express purpose of being in physical community with the rest of us, really does solidify this as leaving. They sacrificed a lot to be with us. They gave up a nice house and bought another house that made no sense from a rational, worldly perspective. And in the end, they determined the cost outweighed the benefit. They are moving just 10 minutes away. I hope and expect we will continue to stay connected, continue to be friends. It feels like they are moving to China.

Several thoughts run through my mind at random times:

Are any of these thoughts true? Are all of them true? I don't know. Maybe I don't want to know. But I do want to take time to be sad...to mourn. I think it's right to mourn. I hope God blesses them through this, but I cannot pretend that it doesn't hurt. What are we doing? What is the meaning of life? Why...why...why?

We can't talk about how important each person is in the church and then turnaround and act like it's not a big deal when someone leaves. Even if God is the reason (and I have no idea if He is or not), it still hurts. It's still a loss. A loss that I feel in the depths of my soul.

 

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