Jesus says these words today from John 14:15-21 just before he is to die on the cross. He wants the disciples to know that even though he might be gone they will not be left alone. I think this is an idea that helps us through loss. Look at any funeral card these days and you will find any of these sentiments such as phrases of the loved one being all around us, in the wind, in someone's laugh, etc. We take these as comfort that our loved one is not fine forever. It helps us through our time of loss.
Jesus is doing that here with the promise of a comforter, a guide, actually someone who will come along and stand beside. This isn't the only place where we have a Greek word that means such as this. In Matthew we get it in a different word when Jesus gives the sermon on the mount in Chapter 5. He says blessed are those who mourn for they shall have someone who comes alongside them. When we had to translate this in class one of our fellow classmates said how much more comforting these words were to know that someone actually came beside you and could identify with you.
Whenever we face loss we are to know that we do not face those alone. Whether it is the loss of a relationship, the loss of a person, the loss of a job we have someone who stands beside us. This unknown, unfelt Paraclete which is the Spirit of truth. In John we sometimes get bogged down in words and yet as we read this truth even in community we are to care for one another. Whatever your loss may be share it with another and have them pray for you this week. Let this person be a sign of the Spirit that we are not alone in our times of sorrow and confusion. There is One who always stands beside us holding us up to God in prayer.