As the name of my blog indicates, I spend a lot of time thinking about home. Of course, my Heavenly Home is the one that is eternal, so that’s where I need to lay up my treasures, and that’s the one I’m striving for. But in the meantime, I have been given this tiny piece of the here-and-now—this home on the edge of town, this family, this neighborhood—in which to serve Him. And, though this is in the earthly realm, I want the things that happen here to be investments in the Heavenly realm.

Saturday, December 17, 2011

"The House of Mourning"

1. A good name is better than precious ointment; and the day of death than the day of one's birth.

2. It is better to go to the house of mourning, than to go to the house of feasting: for that is the end of all men; and the living will lay it to his heart.

3. Sorrow is better than laughter: for by the sadness of the countenance the heart is made better.

4. The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning; but the heart of fools is in the house of mirth.

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Ann's memorial service was today.  It was such a beautiful tribute to our beautiful friend...and honoring to the Lord, as her life and her death gave testimony to Him. 
After the service, we headed to a Christmas party for Ron's side of the family, which seemed to me an odd juxtaposition of events.
Throughout the day, a phrase from the Word of God kept running through my mind"it is better to go to the house of mourning"so tonight, I looked it up to discover the rest of the words and the context of the phrase. 
Oh, this passage is quite contrary to our natural way of thinking.  The day of death is better than the day of birth?  Sorrow is better than laughter?  It is better to go to the house of mourning? 
We talked about this on the way to the party. 
Why would it be better to go to the house of mourning? 
Perhaps it is because as we think about death, we are faced with mortality. 
Perhaps it is because we are sober. 
Perhaps it is because we are focusing on what is important, what is lasting, what is eternal.   
Perhaps our hearts can be turned a little more toward our Heavenly home. 
"The heart of the wise is in the house of mourning."


  1. Those are beautiful words...

    God has a different way of looking at things than we do, doesn't He?


  2. Cheryl, I read this post about an hour ago and have been pondering your words ever since. Such depths. Such needful depths. I remember the first scripture that Mike read at Ann's service, from Psalms ... "Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of His saints." Death, precious? Only He can speak into our hearts at such times and softly whisper ... "precious." The House of Mourning. How very much is wrapped up and hidden in those few words, like treasure waiting to be found. "Teach us to number our days, that we may present to Thee a heart of wisdom" (Psalm 90:12).

  3. Beautifully written, Cheryl, I too have pondered many times on this scripture. Your thoughts give me much to think about.As always very inspiring post.

  4. We have discussed this too and feel that it's focusing on what's eternal.
    An interesting scripture to think about, that's for sure!

  5. Beautiful post, Cheryl. I think it's hard for us to fathom the depth of what eternity with the Lord means. We think in human terms and mourn, but going into His presense must be infinitely better than our earthly existence. Yet God still understands how we feel when we lose a loved one... Jesus wept over Lazarus.

    And He will turn our mourning into dancing!

  6. Cheryl, I was just reading one of Ann Voskamp's recent postings, and the second sentence has a line from an old song ....

    "Put the desires of your heart in order, O human beings!"

    Perhaps that is another reason the House of Mourning is better than the House of Mirth.


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