No Comparison June 2017
I have two gentlemen friends that have lost their wives recently, one 84 and one 95. and another family just lost their father at 72. Both men loved their ladies very much, and the husband is greatly missed. All three had long marriages with much joy and many adventures. It is hard to watch them go through this sense of loss.
Yesterday I had a tooth extracted. That tooth was giving me a lot of pain, and I didn’t have much choice in the matter. It had to come out. Now that it is gone, I have this sense of loss. My tongue keeps going to the spot where it was and finds nothing there. Interestingly, it does find edges on the surrounding teeth which have now become little walls around the hole. The complexity of those walls has become a fascination for my tongue. As pleasant as these new discoveries are, I still miss my tooth. The one does not nearly make up for the other, a loss which is permanent and sad.
Please don’t get me wrong. Loosing your wife or husband is far more profound than losing a tooth, but they do have similarities. When the missing wife is the reason for your sadness, you are exposed to all the nuances of what your relationship meant. Meals without her are meals which lack everything except food. Where before you thought only about the food and felt that it was the purpose of the meal, now you have a deep realization that the sustenance was only a small part of what composed a dinner. It was the fellowship, the conversation, the sharing of the day’s news and events that made it an experience.
All three of these “lost” spouses believed that Jesus had a place for them in heaven. Having known each of them, I recognize that they are with Him now. It is a better place, this Heaven to which we look forward. These couples will be reunited one day. My tooth and I will not. The feeling that it is a permanent loss for me is accurate. The feelings of my three friends, that their loss is also permanent, is not. The same way that my tongue explores that gap in my rack of teeth, their minds wander back to the ones they miss, over and over. It is as real a “missing” as is mine.
I am encouraging my friends that though things are different, we are all still here. We still have things to which we must attend. Though I have one tooth less, I will continue to eat. God gives each of us a mission in life, a set of friends and family, a place in the world, so to speak. It is our role, as it has been all these years, to continue on the best that we can, despite what we have or do not have any longer.