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If you're grieving for a friend

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. . . it's good to be strong. To show serenity and strength in the face of such news is a great help to others as well as to yourself. Lack of tears is not a sign of hardness. It can indicate a higher sense of compassion that refuses to contribute to the atmosphere of sadness and instead strives to gain a deeper understanding of life.

There is a very good reason why you don't have to be sad. For one thing, neither you nor your friend can ever for one moment be outside the love and care of God. The Psalmist sang, ''Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me.'' n1

n1 Psalms 23:4.

All life is God-given, for God Himself is Life. Man, His immortal offspring, is the eternal emanation of Life. Man's actual selfhood is spiritual, not confined to a material body. He has an indestructible existence as the image of God, undying Spirit. Those who are no longer with us nevertheless have a tangible, conscious sense of identity just as we do. Man's being can never fade away or become an abstraction.

Jesus proved that death does not bring an end to life. He restored a little girl who had died. He resuscitated Lazarus, who had been entombed for several days, and he reappeared to his disciples alive and well, despite the crucifixion.

So there is more than just a hope that life is eternal. Infinite life is expressed right now, although this isn't apparent to a strictly material view of life - the view reported by the physical senses. With the acceptance of the truth of man's immortal, indestructible life comes the comfort that strengthens us and enables us to comfort others.

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