My friend’s words left me nearly speechless. I’d never been able to articulate exactly how I felt, but she just had.
“It’s like you’re mourning a person who’s still alive,” she said, lying on the bed with her face propped up against her hand.
Yes, that’s exactly what it was. What it still is.
Even after I left the weekend conference we were attending and came home, I continued to ponder her words. Those words that described a relationship with a loved one who battles addiction. An addiction that consumes their life. An addiction which consumes their soul.
When you love a lost soul, you grieve for the life they could have had.
You grieve for a relationship that’s been severed in a way you’re not sure will ever be repaired. Only the person is still living.
And the grief is perpetual. There is no closure, no final conversation. But sometimes the fear creeps in and you wonder. You wonder if the brief exchange you have via text will be the last. You wonder if what they said was true, or a cover up for something they thought best to hide.
They’re living in a way which eventually leads to death, whether physical or spiritual.
When we grieve the Spirit, there’s always a slow death taking place, whether we realize it or not. We separate ourselves from the living God who loves us and desires an intimate relationship with us.
But can the Spirit have a close relationship with someone who knowingly causes him pain?
As I sat on my sofa mulling over these things on an afternoon in late October, I realized how loss affects us all in different ways. But in one shape or form, we all experience it.
The question is how will it shape us?
Will it embitter us and distance us from God or will it fuel our passion for him and make us love him more? Will it add depth and color to our story or extinguish it completely?
For much of my life, I did the former. I used circumstances in my life as an excuse to run from God and proclaimed everyone in the church was a hypocrite.