Can the Dead Hear Us?
My fiancé died suddenly three weeks ago. I’m suffering and I talk to her all the time.
Can she hear me?
I’m so sorry for your loss. There is nothing quite like the suffering that comes when we lose the one we love. God draws near to the brokenhearted, my friend (Psalm 34:18.) He is with you as you face life with someone now missing. God knows and he cares about what you’re going through. Jesus said this: “Come to me, all you who are struggling hard and carrying heavy loads and I will give you rest” (Matthew 11:28, CEB.)
The agony of grief is different for every person. But it is also the same for every person in one aspect: it’s a roller-coaster. You are experiencing days of emotional ups and downs—turmoil; confusion; sadness; thankfulness; peace; even anger and rage. Yet as you walk out your journey, inviting The Comforter (Holy Spirit) to travel with you; his compassion will be as tangible as his presence. Healing will come to you in time.
Jesus was a man well acquainted with grief and pain (Isaiah 53:3.) As God, he now intercedes in your behalf and has hidden blessings yet for you to find (Colossians 2:3.) Life is not over. And you have been left to carry on because God has a glorious plan for your life; a destiny to complete (Jeremiah 29:11-13.) A famous worship leader once proclaimed to God, “If I’m not dead…you’re not done.” The dead have completed their mission and their race. We, who are left behind, are not done.
If your loved one had an active relationship with Jesus Christ, she is now with him in heaven—fully healed, fully herself and enjoying an indescribable atmosphere of peace, joy and glory. Likewise, if you are a believer in Christ, you will see her again and be able to embrace her…full of life…for all eternity. But can heaven and earth hear what goes on? “What about right now,” you ask. “Can the dead in Christ hear us when we talk to them?” Yes, it’s possible.
The Apostle Paul comforted people in his care who were grieving. In his book of Hebrews, chapter twelve, he preached a sermon designed to comfort them in their suffering. (In those days, Christians were regularly killed for their faith, and many of them had lost loved ones or were facing death themselves.) He encouraged them to find strength and keep fighting the good fight of faith. And he shared some divine knowledge about the afterlife: “Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles. And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith” (Hebrews 12:1, 2, NIV.)
The great cloud of witnesses are those Christ-followers who have already died and now surround us; we who are yet alive. The inference there is that they cheer us on; know us, think of us and love us. Their lives paved the way for the Christian faith to continue on the earth. While they are presently in another realm, they are near to us in spirit; gathered around us like a cloud. While your question, like so many I receive, cannot directly be answered because the Bible does not tell us, it would seem to me that this special group of witnesses…of which your fiancé is now a member…would surely be able to hear us.
I bless you as you recover from this difficult season in your life. Jesus is with you. He is waiting for your full focus and willing to carry your grief. He knows how to heal as you reach out to him for your comfort and relief. He alone knows the entrance to the pathway forward. I’m confident you’ll find it.
Do you have a question or comment for Pastor Adrienne? Send your inquiries to: firstname.lastname@example.org or write to P.O. Box 214, Harrison, OH 45030. For more information and resources, please visit www.askpastoradrienne.com or the “Ask Pastor Adrienne” YouTube channel for sermons and insights.