Today, at the store, though, I had to turn my head from the disturbing Halloween fixtures all around me. Things that would've seemed cute or scary to me a couple of years ago are now so disturbing, I don't even want to go into Walgreens. Death is so much a theme of Halloween.
What bothers me the most is the reminders in our face of what happens to our loved ones... It's not funny or cute to someone who has had to bury a loved one to see skeletons and skulls everywhere. The first year after Luke died, I couldn't help thinking of what was happening to the precious little body that I carried, held, nursed, cuddled. Horrifying then, and it still is. I no longer find myself constantly going to that thought into like I did that first year... except around Halloween. I could feel myself mentally and physically sink from being around that stuff.
I got home and picked up my Bible. Just happened to be in II Corinthians 5. The words jumped out at me today and poured hope into the darkness of my soul. "...v.14 knowing that He who raised the Lord Jesus will raise us also with Jesus and bring us with you into His presence.... v.16So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day. For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal."
So often I feel surrounded by the darkness of sorrow and loss. I have to say, though, that in that hole, the light of the Gospel has become so much more brilliant. My friend Kristen, who lost her husband, once said, "Death is horrible beyond anything we can imagine. Don't try to gloss over that... and at the same time, the Gospel is unbelievable better news than we ever knew." In stronger moments, this brings me unspeakable hope and joy. I find myself going, "This is really true? The Gospel? What Jesus did on the cross is really gonna make it possible for us to be together in heaven one day? This is the best news I've ever heard!" I've heard it all my life, but I never had to put weight on it like I do now.