I love this picture, it is so evocative. In some ways I like this time of year as we experience All Souls then Remembrance Sunday as that seems to give permission for people to not be okay, to vocalize their pain, to be real about their losses and for it to be accepted and understood.
This picture is from a book Paul helped to develop called Jesus still loves Joe. Joe’s sister has died and the book shows him going through a range of emotions. For me it is really helpful as it says God understands how I feel and is happy for me to express that. I know the Psalms offer us a wide range of emotions but there have been times in my Christian life where I have felt that it is not okay to be not okay. My research suggests that others feel the same.
There is also a film of the book narrated by Bear Grylls – you can find it here. There is also a version where you get to chat with whoever is watching it, helping them to explore the issues the book raises. I get so much out of watching the film, sometimes material for children gets to the essence of an issue and hits our heart not our head – always a helpful thing for me!
It is sometimes risky to say how we are actually feeling but it is risky too bottling up how we feel. As Galatians 6.2 says “Bear one another’s burdens and so fulfil the law of Christ. Jesus still loves Joe and Jesus still loves me!