Death is wrong.

I don’t know if you realize that, Dear Reader. But in the beginning, there was God. And He intended for us to live forever. Perfectly in love with Him. Perfectly in harmony with one another and the world. That didn’t work out, of course. We humans behaved badly. (Yes, I know Adam and Eve took the first step. But let’s be honest. We haven’t lived spotless lives on our own.)

Grief is real.

I’m fully convinced I will see my father alive and well again someday. Yet I miss him deeply on this side of eternity. He has been gone from the earth for a few years now, and I can still cry in the aisle at Hobby Lobby when I see the paint-by-numbers he used to love. The librarian, Flora, in my book Rose Hill Cottage, discovers that the origin of the word “grieve” means “a heavy burden.” That describes the process well, don’t you think? Maybe we could even add “a heavy burden you push uphill for the rest of your earthly life.”

Hope is solid.

At my grandfather’s funeral, we all sang, “On Christ the Solid Rock I Stand.” Even though we weep (as Jesus did for Lazarus and his family), we hope. Not the way I hope we win Publisher’s Clearing House. Not even the way I hope we have a warm spring or a good night’s sleep. We hope beyond what our eyes see and our hearts feel. We hope in something mysterious, invisible, and foolish to the human mind. We hope in a future purchased by Jesus and designed by God. A future when there will be no more death, no more sighing, no more tears. And so, we grieve as those who have hope.

And yet, we grieve …