In HOPE 9.28

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David Timms

 Prayer for Today

Lord Jesus, soften my heart that I may grieve over the things that you love most, and not just what I love. Keep me from forming calluses that would harden me to the hurts of others. Grant me the strength to serve and strengthen others and share in their suffering without being overwhelmed by it. And may I know You more deeply in this. Amen.

Hope Happenings

I mentioned a couple of months ago that the wife of our University President has been diagnosed with an very rare and aggressive cancer. She has already had a kidney removed. This coming Monday, Mrs. Jane Derry begins a four-month regimen of chemotherapy treatments. Please pray for her and Dr. Derry as they walk this journey.

Other Writing

David Timms, Living the Lord's Prayer (Bethany House, 2008)

David Timms, Sacred Waiting: Waiting on God in a World that Waits for Nothing (Bethany House, 2009)


“Blessed are those who mourn, for they shall be comforted."
~ Matthew 5:4


Lament & Love

In Lament for a Son, Yale philosopher Nicholas Wolterstorff recounts the tragic mountain-climbing death of his twenty-five-year-old son, Eric.


Several years after this heart-wrenching loss, Wolterstorff noticed that the wound “is no longer raw. But it has not disappeared. That is as it should be. If he was worth loving, he is worth grieving over. Grief is existential testimony to the worth of the one loved…. Every lament is a love-song.”


Two thousand years ago, Jesus declared, “Blessed are those who mourn.” (Matthew 5:4) It must have struck his first hearers as oddly as it strikes us. What’s desirable about grief? What’s attractive about loss or suffering? These questions lead many pastors and scholars to spiritualize the saying. Surely Jesus means “those who mourn over their sin.” Perhaps not.


Psychologists reduce grief to various stages—denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. We’ve studied it and categorized it. We’ve determined what’s normal and what’s not. Every stage or component has a time-frame. We want to understand it … and get over it.


Yet, in our hurry to minimize grief perhaps we minimize love. The heart is only broken when it loses what it loves. So, our woundedness speaks of our tenderness. Better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all. It may not feel that way at the time. But in the act of loving we are most like God.


The words of Jesus strike us as strange for another reason. Shouldn’t it read differently? “Blessed are those who finally get over mourning.” After all, sadness leads nowhere but to the basement of the soul and nobody finds abundant life there.


Or perhaps Jesus should have said, “Blessed will be those who mourn because it won’t last forever.” But He surprises us by declaring that those who grieve are blessed in the midst of their grieving. It defies our expectations.


Yet, Nicholas Wolterstorff suggests that the tears of a broken heart flow from its tenderness. And a soft heart, sufficiently supple to love sacrificially, is a true blessing—not because it is impervious to pain but because it connects us more closely with the Father.


Laments truly are love-songs, and those who grieve remind us of a profound privilege, the gift of love. And for those who follow Christ, we have not just the gift of love but the confidence of resurrection. We shall be comforted.


Perhaps our tears give testimony to our hearts and our faith—hardly something to suppress. “Blessed are those who mourn.”







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You can find back issues of "In HOPE" (2005-2009) at .

David Timms serves in the Graduate Ministry Department at Hope International University in Fullerton, California. "In HOPE", however, is not an official publication of the University and the views expressed are not necessarily those of the Administrators or Board. "In HOPE" has been a regular e-publication since January, 2001.