Tomorrow morning, a couple of friends and I are planning to drive two hours to attend the funeral of a stranger. The deceased actually is the brother of a close friend and co-worker who unexpectedly died of a brain aneurism at the age of 50.
We’re attending the funeral for the same reason we’ve called and texted our friend over the past week. He loved his brother dearly, and he’s reeling from such a profound and sudden loss. We can’t begin to take away the pain of his loss, but our presence is a small but meaningful way to rally around our friend and show that we care.
Jesus modeled how important the presence of others is during a time of grief. The night He was arrested in the Garden of Gethsemane, when His soul was crushed with grief to the point of death, Jesus asked a few of His disciples to sit and pray with him (Matthew 26:36-38). They couldn’t take His grief away either, but He desired, even needed their company and prayers.
Just as Jesus needed others to be with Him in His time of need—we need others too. Having others around comforts a grieving heart more than we know.