So what caused the smile this morning? It was the remembrance that beyond the death and pain, there is indeed a light that shines out the clearer. A light that does not nullify or ignore the potency of such a sting, yet bathes us afresh in memory and witness anew. The light is hope. Hope that rushes to the tomb and finds only folded grave-clothes. Hope that carries still the scars of sorrow, yet is healed and made whole. Hope that calls friends to a shore-breakfast of the morning’s catch. Hope not as abstract principle: Hope who is a Person. That Person who is no longer dead, but living again. The same Person who promises that same hope for us: that death be forever broken of its power, that life be restored and renewed again in the morning of New Creation. This is the Hope of Resurrection—made real and alive in Christ himself. And this is why I smile, for in that simple phone call—a small gesture, attempted by a pastor to bring comfort, to simply be and be still in the presence of those in mourning—I could hear Hope already awakened and alive in her heart. And it was beginning even then to spill over and fill me with hope. The pain isn't over, certainly. But it is no longer all that is.
“There, peeping among the cloud-wrack above a dark tower high up in the mountains, Sam saw a white star twinkle for a while. The beauty of it smote his heart, as he looked up out of the forsaken land, and hope returned to him. For like a shaft, clear and cold, the thought pierced him that in the end the Shadow was only a small and passing thing: there was light and high beauty for ever beyond its reach.” - J.R.R. Tolkien, The Return of the KingAmen. Come and see us, Lord Jesus, come and see.