When London’s red double-decker Routemaster buses were withdrawn from regular service in December 2005, many people felt they had lost a friend. The Routemasters had provided reliable service for 51 years, and they were popular with Londoners and tourists alike because of their easy jump-on, jump-off rear access. A few of the old buses still run on two Heritage tourist routes, but in the rest of the sprawling city, they’re gone.
Many changes in our lives represent loss, whether as small as the cherished memory of a bus or as large as a destroyed family home, a thwarted dream of success, or the death of a person we’ve deeply loved. In every loss we long for a touch of healing and hope.
The book of Lamentations has been called “the funeral of a city.” In it, Jeremiah mourned the captivity of his people and the destruction of Jerusalem. Yet in the midst of sorrow, there is a celebration of God’s faithfulness: “Through the Lord’s mercies we are not consumed, because His compassions fail not. They are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness. ‘The Lord is my portion,’ says my soul, ‘therefore I hope in Him!’” (Lam. 3:22-24).
When our hearts hurt because of loss, we can find hope in our Lord, who never changes.
Be still, my soul: the Lord is on thy side;
Bear patiently the cross of grief or pain;
Leave to thy God to order and provide;
In every change He faithful will remain. —von Schlegel
When the sunshine of God’s love meets the showers of our sorrow, the rainbow of promise appears.