'The Lords of Dogtown' is a movie about a bunch of surfers-come-skaters in Sante Monica, America in the early 1970's. The story is set during the time when the standards of skateboarding were taken to a whole new level. Skip, the coach and mentor of a group of teenagers, introduced his boys to a new variety of wheels for their boards that would change their world - they would be able to perform tricks that were never possible before. Skip took them out to a concrete drainage system and called out "ride it like a wave boys!" And they did.
You may have heard that grief is like a wave; it comes and it goes. Sometimes the full force of its raging power comes crashing down on you and you're left breathless as you struggle to the surface. Sometimes its swift and steady as the current carries you. And then at other times it's still and serene and you feel quite secure.
The change between these states can be quite unpredictable and I've been caught out more than once. It happened again while I was away.
I'd met my Aunty in Prague, she was heading over to the Czech Republic for a wedding of this guy she knows and I got to tag along. Three years ago her husband, my mothers big brother, passed away. It's been three years, and although I've come to accept the fact, I don't think I'll ever get used to Uncle Ron not being around. It's not right that he's not here and I found myself continuing to grieve his death. Perhaps the process is never completed. Ride it like a wave, Cate, ride it like a wave.
Jesus knows what it's like to lose someone; his friend Lazarus died. Jesus got word from Mary and Martha, Lazarus' sisters, that he was sick. When Jesus arrived Martha said to him, "where were you? If you'd been here Lazarus would still be alive."
I found myself saying something similar, "Jesus, where were you? If you'd been here Uncle Ron would still be alive."
Martha told Jesus she knew she'd see her brother again, at the resurrection, on the last day. He told her that he, himself, is the Resurrection.
He told me the same thing.
Grief sucks, it really does. I dont think it will ever stop hurting, but I think that I am getting better and better at riding the wave. I have become honest enough to ask Jesus where he was when it happened, and he keeps me humble enough to hear him say that he was right there with them, and that he was right there with me too, he's always with me, closer than my breath.
Jesus is the Resurrection and the Life, in him we live and move and have our being. Nothing changes that. Not even death changes that.