morning’s frost from spring petals,
some still mourn winter
During the lifetime of Jesus, the Jews had a unique custom pertaining to the temple in Jerusalem. When entering, the people had to walk in only one direction. They moved up the stairs, through the outer courts, inner sanctuary, and down the stairs to exit, all in the same way.
However, if one was mourning a death, his traffic pathway through the temple was in the direct opposite. He/she walked against the flow of normal everyday traffic.
Like so many types and shadows in the Torah and Tenach, this is just a glimpse of the deeper meaning and “walking out” of grief in the life of one who mourns the loss of a life partner, parent, child, or friend. Sorrow and grief continue for sometime, although the lives of others continue normally. The symbolism seems simplistic, but the meaning is profound on several levels.
I am thinking about how my mother-in-law is coping now, just over three months since her husband’s death last December. We are all so proud of how she is managing and rebuilding a new life, yet I know the road she travels is lonely. That she alone must decend into the valley and taste of the loss. She alone faces the magnitude of the empty and quiet house, the vacant reclining chair, fixing meals for one, eating alone, the lonely bed. She cannot build a bridge over the pain of separation when everyone else’s lives have continued the same.
And still as I pondered this in my prayers for her as she heals, I remembered that Hebrews tells us that in reality Jesus “tasted death for every man.”
That means mom will not be separated forever from dad. The eternal part of his life is at home and living forever with the Lord.
Wonderful scents and colors of spring are popping up now, and there is joy in the new life. But I am tender to the truth that amid the beautiy of this new life, there are those who still mourn the loss of winter.