After my mother’s death in 1983, I experienced deep depression. Mother did not share her feelings or hug or say “I love you,” so when she died I struggled with feelings of things left unfinished.
Later I became a grief counselor for Hospice and learned much about how people process feelings of grief, as individual as we are. In this Scripture, Jesus had just learned of the death of John, brutally beheaded by an evil king. He withdrew from the crowds to grieve in private; but in his popularity he was pursued and his quiet time was interrupted. Then, the crisis presented itself, with over 5,000 hungry people and seemingly inadequate resources to feed them. Jesus responded with the miracle of fishes and loaves, an act of love and compassion even in the midst of his grief.
Grief can be resolved in many ways. For me, the depression I experienced after Mother’s death, lifted when I answered God’s call to enter ordained ministry. We may find that helping others, extending a hand in Christian compassion, can be a powerful opportunity for healing even as we fulfill God’s will for us. It is how death is transformed into resurrection and new life.
Prayer: God of all comfort, help us to turn our losses into gains for your kingdom on earth. Amen.
Today’s devotion was written by Marty Ramey,
Pastor of Advent Lutheran Church in Kings Mountain, NC.