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Letter Forty One

Imagine you were one of the women followers of Jesus during his three-year ministry on earth. What would it be like as you heard his teachings, walked by his side, and watched his ministry?

Dear sister,

Recently, every day has been exhausting. Jesus is so popular that we have huge crowds everywhere we go. The momentum of his movement is growing by the day. I sense we are moving toward something big.

Maybe he will announce himself as king of Israel soon.

It is an honor to serve our Lord. However, it is challenging because we are so busy that we often do not have time to process all that is going on. Recently, we received terrible news that John the Baptist was beheaded by King Herod. We are all in shock. It is hard to understand why the king would do this. They say he both feared and respected John. Apparently, he even liked to listen to him. But he made an oath to his daughter that he would give her whatever she liked, up to half his kingdom, if she danced for him and his guests. Her mother, Herodias made the daughter ask for the head of John the Baptist. I remember our parents teaching us to never make an oath as it can get us into trouble.

Sister, I am struggling because I feel sad, but I have no time to grieve. We are constantly surrounded by people and busy ministering to them. Jesus is also very sad about John. We tried to take a boat to get away to a solitary place to rest, but many followed us to the other side. Finally, Jesus climbed a mountain to get alone to pray and grieve the loss of his friend. As he was away, we disciples were able to talk about our memories of John and cry together. We really needed this quiet space to mourn. Sister, in your letter you said our grandmother has passed away. I encourage you to take the time you need to grieve. We all need soul-care sometimes.

In the comfort of the Father’s arms,

your Big Sister

Today’s Bible Reading: Matthew 14:1-12, 22-23; Mark 6:14-34, 45-46; Luke 9:7-9

Today’s Application:

There are many kinds of losses we experience. The obvious one is the death of someone we love. However, any kind of change can bring about feelings of loss: moving, job changes, breaking a relationship, graduating from school, others leaving us, or any other change. If you do not take time to grieve, this sadness will be pushed down and buried in your heart. Later, it will surface in the form of anger, depression, physical illness, struggles with God, or numbness of emotions. It can interfere with other relationships. Take time to process your losses. It may be best to go to a peaceful place to cry and pray. You may want to journal. Like the Psalmists, be open and honest with God. He can comfort you and help you work through your pain, confusion, anger, disappointment, and sadness. Find a trusted friend to share your hurts. Take the time you need to work through your emotions rather than ignoring the pains in your heart. This is the path to spiritual, emotional, and physical health.

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