The House of Mourning

Solomon says in Ecclesiastes 7:2,
“It is better to go to a house of mourning
than to a house of feasting, for death
is the destiny of every man;
the living should take this to heart.”

Does this mean that we should seek suffering?
Maybe not, but, as inevitable as death,
so is suffering in this life. In suffering, however,
there is much that God would teach us,
if only we are willing to listen.

I’ve been to a few funerals
in my time. If we’re honest, they’re probably
not the sort of thing we look forward to.
Though, as followers of Christ, we know
we’ll see our brothers and sisters again.
So, we go to honor, mourn, and yes, rejoice,
when we know another soul has gone to meet our Lord.
But amid all those emotions regarding death
are vital truths about life,
the life God would share with his children.

Running from the feast of fools
toward the house of mourning,
seeking wisdom
through the pain.
From the mortal to immortal.
A curtain pull.
A door swing.

What of the other side?
What awaits?
The one who metes out righteous judgment
has the ultimate say.
Those who claim there is no justice
will discover their error on that day.
Choose well.
Choose life.
Choose Jesus,
the only way.

Then when it’s my time,
if you must play a dirge for me,
place within it a lilting note,
for when my time comes,
I’ll be traveling to my forever home
to be with those saints who’ve gone before
and wait for those yet to come.

Surely joy greater than our imaginings
or any verse in any poet’s tome awaits us there,
past the house of mourning,
where we pause to celebrate
and grieve
and pray.

To the house of mourning
we will bring a light
and invite the Lord,
holding back the night,
for the day,
for the day.

© Joel Tipple 12/16/2018

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