ABC Bible Character Faith Series

Flowers In Deep Recesses

The Widow of Nain’s encounter with Jesus – Written by Joy Chikonde

Although we may read it as one tale, two tales are reconciled to create this one victory reality.

The warfare between joy and sadness may be, sometimes unintelligible. Knowing which one will be the victor could leave one in distress as joy and gloom unpredictably counteract each other with overwhelming blows that sometimes knock the opponent down to the knees. These blows behave like sharp turns at the end of a slope that await a cruising victim. Nonetheless, what a delight it is when joy is at the corner.

Similarly, one time, beyond the horizon to the gate of Nain, such a battle rattled between the light of the world and the fruit of sin, death. In that battle, like at sunrise when the rays of light mightily flare out as steeds to conquer the darkness, the darkness was cast away. The resounding victory followed the promise that joy comes in the morning, and in alignment the Saviour spoke words of comfort, ‘Do not cry”.

Prior, two stories are told. On one hand, clusters of dusty feet followed the trail of the Son of God. For like the golden sun, He was their dazzling light. The multitudes basked under the Son and in joy, they delighted in Him. Who could not be allured by Him and His might? For God was walking on earth. The comforter. The maker. And the one for whom all things are was here.

On the other hand, a night bruised by death approached the gate of Nain. The atmosphere was becoming grey as despairing crowds of mourners carried turbulences and shrieks of wailing. Their tears resembled the rain and brought to reality the storm that the widow of Nain was going through. The storm roaring in her soul was now made tangible. No one knows the heart’s pain apart from he who shares it, and who can know its joy except the one who has partaken in it?

Now, the elated crowd following Jesus decelerated at their soles. For how could one commence in delight while making eye contact with one in grief? ‘Make way, make way, make way!’ How could one even pompously say it amid a funeral procession? Who could then share in the widow’s true mourning? Or who would be brave enough or even foolish to say, ‘Come along and dance with me’?

At this point, what could reconcile these two atmospheres between those striving to maintain their happiness and peace, and those sunk in grief? Could a follower of Jesus have thought that Jesus’ light could not reach the recesses of death and its sting to where he could make flowers grow? The dead man was most likely the widow’s hope and stability. And for someone whose loved ones were stripped away, what did she think of the plan that God had for her? Was there still a purpose in all the heartache and suffering? God’s plans were still good. Little did the widow of Nain know that she would be gifted with two sons that day: her resurrected son, and the Son of God.

So again, two crowds met at the gate of Nain in a conflict of emotions. Suspense fell in the midst as all were put to a halt as the Son of God stopped to share in the widow’s grief. Jesus, moved with compassion, told her, ‘Do not cry’. How often she had heard condolences. But this time must have been different, for comfort swept from God’s heart to hers. From one who could change the situation, had the answers, could give her a purpose, and give her life.

With a word, and the Word He was, He strode ahead and touched the bier that carried the dead man. He spoke to the dead and commanded him to awake. Fear seized the crowds. What a reconciliation. The day like in an eclipse overthrew the dark together with its hosts.

Here it is seen that it is not the will or delight of the Father that we suffer and mourn. For one day, all the dead will rise, and the night will be defeated for eternity. Jesus can make flowers grow where it seems that light cannot reach. And even when the heart is frail with loneliness and grief, he sees it. Jesus is powerful throughout any emotion.

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