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pain

June 9, 2013

I Kings 17:20 jumped out at me this morning. “Lord God, why did you do such a terrible thing to this woman? She’s letting me stay here, and now you’ve let her son die.”  I read it in numerous versions on biblegateway.com and clearly saw a common theme I hadn’t seen before.  See the story background in my post “presume”.  In verse 20 Elijah seems to experience grief because the widow’s son had just died.  That took me by surprise.   I don’t know about you, but I tend to read the Bible stories almost in monotone.  Thankfully they are familiar to me, yet in that familiarity I miss the raw human details that need to be observed.

It makes perfect sense that Elijah would grieve at the death of the widow’s son.  Even if had only been in this home a short time, there would have been some kind of bond that had begun to form.  A tragic loss is a tragic loss no matter who you are.  Period.  Elijah lashed out at God just as the widow had lashed out at him  When hurt is what’s inside you, words of pain are bound to come out of your mouth.  A man or woman of God is no different.  Allow those you admire to have emotions.  Allow them to be hurt.  Allow them to have bad days.  Allow them to be real with the pain that’s in their life.  Realize the people you have on a pedestal aren’t perfect.  Once you recover from that shock you might consider reaching out to them in their pain.  The response you get just may surprise you.

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