Written by Heather Mitton 

Two weeks ago my Dad died in an accident. 

I waved to him as I stopped by the church on my way to coffee, and an hour later I came home to find two police officers standing quietly in our living room.  

He was 61. 

On that day, and the days that followed, Jesus was unfamiliar to me.  

Not because I felt betrayed, or abandoned, or because I needed answers, but because the Jesus I had known no longer existed.  

It doesn’t work that way, of course. But it felt like it. Unlike Pre-Accident Jesus, Post-Accident Jesus required me to answer different questions.  

Was my faith strong because it had never been tested? 

Had Jesus been enough because I had everything I needed? 

Was I filled with hope because I never imagined anything bad happening to me? 

And in the midst of all that, when my mind would race with questions that needed answers and problems that needed solutions, I continued to feel a familiar, gentle voice:  

It will be fine, but it doesn’t have to be right now.  

Christianity can sometimes shoo us away from grief.  

“Move along, move along to wholeness in Christ.” 

“Get to the Good News quicker.”  

“Give glory to God sooner.”  

“Hop through that window now that the door has been closed.”  

We like to jump in with the comfort of life-after-death. The Bible verses. The Ultimate Plan. 

And I have to be honest, I’m not interested in that yet.  

It will be fine, but it doesn’t have to be right now.  

Jesus isn’t asking me to make a ministry of my grief.  

It is not my job right now to be an example or to bear witness to His goodness. 

I’m not even sure he is asking me to cling to His promises, or know there’s a better place, or remember the beauty of his eternal plan.  

Instead, He is quietly waiting as my mind catapults through milestones and moments that my father will miss. He is standing off to the side as I weep that the baby inside of me will never know its grandpa. He is watching nearby as I realize over and over and over, a hundred times a day, that I will never hear my father’s voice again.  

My friends who have the hope of Jesus inside you: if you have sad people, let them be sad. Let them feel the fullness and the weight and the ache of their grief. Even when you know you have Good News.  

Like Jesus, Good News is gentle and resilient, and obstinately patient.  

And to all of my sweet friends who are walking around with broken hearts:  

It will be fine, but it doesn’t have to be right now.  

So let it be. 

Let your tears flow, let your throat tighten, let your eyes sting.  

Let your future look bleak. 

Let your plans be crushed.  

Let your life feel hopeless. 

Hope will wait forever.  

And when you are ready to lift your head, and wipe your eyes, it will run to you with open arms.  

For me, this is not a crisis of faith, but a re-introduction; a cautious and awkward meeting of Post-Accident Jesus who is the same as Pre-Accident Jesus, but feels a little different. 

And for that, I will need a little time.  

Which I’ve heard He has a lot of.