They Shall Be Comforted: For Those Who Grieve & Hope
Joseph T. Nolan
In our efforts (and it has been very hard work) to wake up the church to the importance of bereavement ministry and the needs of the bereaved, we can easily slip into the trap of being yet another bereavement program, but without the very special grace and hope that faith brings to the lives and struggles of those who have experienced loss.
We talk about denial, fear, loneliness, anger and guilt and easily can fail to help people with the desperately sought after spiritual connection --- a connection that links the wanderer to the firm presence (sanctuary!) of God who respects our feelings and welcomes us where we are.
"Love pulls God into death." What a wonderful statement at the start of this book. Could there then be love and hope for me when I wake up one morning and find myself in the deepest valley I have ever been in? The book doesn't offer cheap grace in easy answers and silly solutions that diminish both God's ability and our neediness. Rather it speaks of relationship, strength and hope, even peace, during the disruptive ride of grief. It is a confident look at the teachings of the faith (from the Christian perspective) written caringly for those wounded by loss. The hope in this book is precisely for those who know little hope, doubt there is much about which to be confident, and crave some measure of courage to face even the next few moments in the day ... or night.
The Rev. Richard B. Gilbert, D.Min., Executive Director, The World Pastoral Care Center