If you have been following our Wednesday night class on Facebook you know we are engaged in a study of grief. As my guide I have been following the book, Walking With Those Who Weep, by Ron & Don Williams. Both are friends of mine from college days. They are twin brothers, and are both gospel preachers who have taught grief support classes across the country. They have served as chaplains for area law enforcement and first-responders.
For the first six classes in this study I followed their book in order to help us grasp the basics of what grief is all about. I know that these studies touch a chord with many of us. On the other side of the spectrum others will feel no appeal whatsoever. These studies are intended to address the human condition of the way God made us in his image. I have never claimed to know all that being made in God’s image might involve, but I have an idea that emotions are a part of it. And if that is not satisfactory enough, I have also built on the Scriptural mandate of Paul, “Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep” (Rom. 12:15). What does it mean to “weep with those who weep”? This class is intended to address that duty in all of its varied applications. If one would ignore Paul’s injunction as being meaningless, what else might they dismiss with the same credulous wave of the hand? It seems to me that some of us need to be taught how to “weep with those who weep.”
While following the above mentioned book as my guide for this class I have added plenty of my own thoughts to construct my approach. Admittedly, I have learned from the genius of many others. Some of the sources that have been most helpful to me in these studies have been the following:
Batsell Barrett Baxter, When Life Tumbles In (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1974).
Ross W. Dye, Words of Comfort (Nashville: Gospel Advocate Company, 1962).
Bill Flatt, Growing Through Grief (Nashville: Christian Communications, 1989).
Bill Flatt, Restoring My Soul: The Pursuit of Spiritual Resilience (Nashville: Gospel Advocate Company, 2001).
Bill Flatt and Others, Personal Counseling (Memphis: Flatt Publications, 1991).
Bill Flatt, From Worry to Happiness (Grand Rapids: Baker Book House, 1979).
Bill Flatt, Since You Asked (Abilene: Quality Publications, 1983).
C. S. Lewis, A Grief Observed (New York: The Seabury Press, 1961).
S. I. McMillen, None of These Diseases (Grand Rapids: Fleming H. Revel, 1998).
Coy Roper, The Christian and Grief (Searcy: Truth for Today, February 2011).
We are now at the halfway mark in this series of studies. At this point I will shift our focus to some specific matters of concern. I will, for the next six weeks, focus on such subject as:
Grief and the Loss of a Parent
Grief and the Loss of a Spouse
Grief and the Loss of a Sibling
Grief and the Loss of a Child
Grief and Loss Through SuicideThen I will conclude our studies with the question, “Does God Care When I Suffer?”