Its days like these when the shortest verse in the Bible becomes the largest image in my mind.
The idea of Jesus weeping over the death of his friend Lazarus has made a profound impression on me. But no other time more than after I heard the following stories of lives lost in or near Orahovica Croatia in the last month.
They had just bought their new machine. It was bigger, stronger and faster than the last one so they should have been operating with more caution. His 11 year old son hopped off the combine to try to save a sunflower from the machine. He ended up losing his own life. The father was finally able to tell the story three days later when he regained his voice. Unfortunately he has since turned to alcohol - his wife to pills. They won’t answer the door for deeply concerned individuals who want to reach out.
She had returned from Germany 9 days earlier. Her mom sent money to the drug-addict so she could get out of the environment she found herself in. With no money and little access to hard drugs she overdosed on over-the-counter stuff. The small village funeral was just as sad. Drunks surrounded the coffin – stumbling and almost falling in as they lowered it. The mother fainted in her mourning and didn’t receive much assistance from the dazed spectators.
He had drunk too much. Either realizing it too late or just being stupid he bailed out of his car while it sped towards 3 children. One of them died, the others are still in the hospital. The uncle of the child who passed took out his vengeance when he found the driver the next day – putting him in the hospital as well.
What do you say? How do you react?
I find comfort in the fact that Jesus mourned for the lifeless, the widow, and the orphan. What’s more? He gave his life so that we may have life. That’s the kind of hope a seemingly hopeless world needs.