A Time to Mourn

by Steve Laube

Autumn Pine Forest

This past weekend was a time to mourn. We attended two family funerals here in Phoenix. The first for my wife’s grandma, Izora Weed. An amazing woman who was 101 when she passed. The second was my wife’s Uncle Ken Merrick who brings to mind many fond memories.

It has been a tough year. The loss of far too many family friends (including another this past week). My father last September. The family members mentioned above. And even our family pet of 16 years.

Loss after loss. Grief after grief. Before long it becomes a question of “How much more of this can we take?”

And yet, we have a firm foundation in the Risen Christ, the one who conquered death, and a faith which is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Therefore we can embrace every blow and take joy in the sunrise. All the petty squabbles of the day-to-day take a different level of urgency when placed in the light of eternity.

The other half of the verse in Ecclesiastes 3:4 says there is “a time to dance.” You might say it is a call to the Arts to express life as the counterbalance to the phrase “a time to mourn.” So before you write another word think about the impact of that sentence, that scene, or that concept. Is it significant? Or something you casually tossed out on a whim? You have been given the gift of using words as a way to bring life to ideas and emotions. To express in some small way what it means to live a life of honor and grace and truth.

Our urgency should become electric as we seek to change our world word by word.

26 Responses to A Time to Mourn

  1. Debbie Lynne Costello February 25, 2013 at 5:31 am #


    My most sincere condolences to you and your family for all of the precious people who are no longer here with us. Your strong faith and trust in God during such a hard time is an encouragement. God Bless you.

  2. Elaine Stock February 25, 2013 at 5:55 am #

    My condolences, Steve. Thank you for reaching out to us during this difficult time. You’ve uplifted me today, and have started my day with the right perspective.

  3. Jennifer Dyer February 25, 2013 at 6:27 am #

    Thank you for the reminder to cherish life and to keep our focus on our Lord. Praying for you in this time of difficulty and mourning. May the Lord comfort you.

  4. Lisa February 25, 2013 at 7:04 am #

    So sorry for our loss. I think your words are full of meaning. In the light of eternity, our lives, our words, our actions do take on a new urgency. Each day is a gift. Thanks for such a beautiful reminder.

  5. Nora Spinaio February 25, 2013 at 7:27 am #

    I’m sorry to hear of so much loss over such a short period of time. And, thanks for reminding us to put things in perspective. Our priorities should be for the eternal. After all, we’re only here for a little while.

  6. Meghan Carver February 25, 2013 at 7:36 am #

    Loss is always difficult, but especially when there is so much so quickly. What a great turnaround, though, to encourage writers to use their words as encouragement. Praying for you today!

  7. Joseph Bentz February 25, 2013 at 7:46 am #

    I am sorry for your losses, Steve. Thank you for showing how a tough year of loss can focus your perspective on what really matters.

  8. Wade Webster February 25, 2013 at 7:47 am #

    So sorry for your losses, Steve. Taking so many blows at once is bound to wear you down. It’s a great encouragement to know our Savior gives us the strength to carry on and endure to the end. Cancer survivors also come through their ordeals with a much more eternal perspective.
    Thanks for encouraging us to encourage others with our words.

  9. Ann Shorey February 25, 2013 at 8:26 am #

    Thank you for the meaningful post, Steve. My prayers are with you. One loss is sorrow-filled. So many so close can be staggering. I’m thankful we have the God of all comfort.

  10. Angie Dicken February 25, 2013 at 8:53 am #

    I am sorry for your losses, Steve. Your words are deeply inspiring, especially since Ecclesiastes 3 was my first inspiration for the characters of my current wip. Over the past year, I’ve learned that this “book of my heart” was bogged down with flippant words, sentences, thoughts, hiding the power that God wanted to reveal in the story. Now that I am on my third round of rewrites, I am finally realizing how important it is to use my gift more wisely. Thank you for sharing.

  11. Kathy Tyers February 25, 2013 at 8:59 am #

    Love and blessings to you and the family, Steve. There truly is a time to mourn–and that time to dance is part of the rhythm sung by the same One–but I’ll be praying God comforts your sadness with His sweetness. Thank you for the way you’ve used your own creative gifts to help and guide us!

  12. Judith Robl February 25, 2013 at 9:10 am #

    Steve, my prayers are with your family. I know very well how such losses can impact your life. In the space of ten months we lost my mother, my mother-in-law and three grandchildren. It was a rough year. But God saw us through, and He will see you through. Just listen to the old hymn “Great Is Thy Faithfulness.”

    “Pardon for sin and a peace that endureth,
    Thine own dear presence to cheer and to guide,
    Strength for today and bright hope for tomorrow,
    Blessings all mine with ten thousand beside.”

  13. Ronie February 25, 2013 at 9:34 am #

    Been praying for y’all, Agent-Man! Much love to you and the family during this tough time.

  14. Carolyn Curtis February 25, 2013 at 9:37 am #

    Steve, your words honor your loved ones and remind me of the resurrection awaiting all believers, serving as a rich morning devotional for me…and for many, I’m sure. Thanks for your transparency in grief and your willingness to share your heart of faith.

  15. Carole Lehr Johnson February 25, 2013 at 9:55 am #

    Steve, my thoughts and prayers go out to you and your family. It breaks my heart to hear of your many losses.

  16. Rebecca Barlow Jordan February 25, 2013 at 10:04 am #

    Steve, I’m so sorry about the losses your family has experienced–all so close together. Praying that the God of All Comfort will continue to bring peace in the midst of your ongoing memories of these loved ones.Thank you for the sobering but joyful reminder to make each day and each word count for eternity.

  17. Julie Surface Johnson February 25, 2013 at 10:39 am #

    I’m sorry for your losses, Steve. May God comfort you and your family over the next several months. This is one of the hard parts about getting older, I know. Losing our loved ones is so very hard. But, because of God’s great grace and mercy, death does lose its sting–especially when we know we’ll meet our loved ones on the other side. God bless you.

  18. Julie Sunne February 25, 2013 at 1:36 pm #

    Sorry for your losses, Steve. Through such heartaches we are reminded to cherish each day and celebrate the promise of seeing our loved ones again. May the Father of peace comfort you and your family.

  19. Amanda Dykes February 25, 2013 at 3:23 pm #

    I’m so sorry to hear of all that you’re family is going through. Thank you for opening your heart here in a way that encourages us each closer to the Giver of Life, and to honoring Him not just with our every word, but our every breath. Praying for you and your family.

  20. Lynn Johnston February 25, 2013 at 3:26 pm #

    I am sorry for your loss, Steve. I too have been to back to back funerals with the loss of a close friend’s mother and a co-worker who passed so unexpectantly. Like you, I am lifted up by my strong faith. I agree with all that you said as we feel encouraged to know that they are home. But we will miss them because they were special and for all of the lives they touched. It is never easy to say goodbye.

  21. Pat Jaeger February 25, 2013 at 4:02 pm #

    Steve accept my prayers for your losses. We lost my mother-in-law unexpectedly and “sorrows like sea billows roll.” My husband still picks up his phone to call her (He called her every night before she went to bed to fill her in on the day at the farm.) God is our source of healing, and your words are an encouragement, as well as a challenge to us word smiths to forge our words well: Clean, and true, and sharp as a two-edged sword. Bless you and your family in your time of sorrow.

  22. Steve Laube February 25, 2013 at 6:13 pm #

    Thank you for all your wonderful and gracious comments.


  23. Linda Strawn February 25, 2013 at 7:30 pm #

    I’m so sorry for the losses you have suffered, and will lift you and your family up in prayer. Thank you for reminding us living for Christ is all about balance. Creation is a perfect example of it.

  24. Jean Brunson February 25, 2013 at 7:39 pm #

    I am so sorry to hear about all your losses. Thank you for all the great advice and ideas for writing. I appreciate your taking the time to help those of us who feel the call to share Jesus through the written word.

  25. Betsy St. Amant February 26, 2013 at 8:32 am #

    So sorry for your losses, Steve. I can relate to being a hard season and wondering how much longer we can bear under the weight. But like you pointed out, our faith is in Jesus, and He is victor! He’s already won. I don’t see how people make it without Him. I truly, truly don’t. Thankfully His yoke is easy and His burden is light. He is good and faithful.

  26. Ramona Cecil February 28, 2013 at 12:32 pm #

    My sincere condolences, Steve. My thoughts and prayers are with you and your family as you grieve these losses. I ask God’s continued comfort in the days ahead. What a blessing to know that Christ has conquered death and the grave. Thank you for reminding us of the mission God has given us with our writing, and thank you for all you do in helping us with that mission. May God bless you and your family.

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