I took some time to pause this morning. It’s been a busy few weeks.
Two Saturdays in a row of traveling for us. Two Saturdays in a row of funerals for precious people -one from my family and one from Ry’s. It’s interesting that, although these two men were intelligent and successful, the attributes that struck me to the core while we celebrated their lives were not their careers (even though they were successful in those, as well) or how much money they made but the way people talked about how they adored their wives and their kids couldn’t remember a time Dad reacted out of anger. These two men were known for lots of things but one thing was apparent: their kindness. Gosh, that goes a long way, doesn’t it?
Sandwiched in between these two Saturdays was time spent with some friends who suddenly lost their child about a month ago. We just sat around a kitchen table, drank tea, talked, listened, looked at pictures and took turns holding an adorable, little baby who lost a momma far too early. I got in the car and told my husband that that was the most important thing I did all week (and possibly longer).
It’s certainly not comfortable to get close to people who are dealing with loss. It’s not something I enjoy, to be honest. I think there’s a part of our human nature that makes us want to turn our heads from those in pain and pray it’ll somehow get better for them…soon. While I believe we do pray for them, the Bible tell us something else we do in these times…something a little more meaningful, I think: we “weep with those who weep.” We don’t have to specifically cry with them. Faking a tear wouldn’t help matters and it’s certainly not sincere. But I really think God tell us to “suck it up” in some ways – only nicer, of course. To “weep with those who weep” means that we have to suck it up and pick up the phone, go to the home, go to the funeral, the grave site…get into the lives (with their permission) of those who are hurting and just be there even though it’s uncomfortable.
Also sandwiched between these two weekends was news of dear friends who lost their first itty, bitty baby too soon. It’s amazing how much you can love a little person even at a few weeks old and they’re not yours. I tracked this little baby’s growth each week on my phone because that’s just what you do when you have a friend who’s expecting and you are going to have babies only four months apart and you’re so dang excited about it. Budding excitement and anticipation about seeing this pair make their announcement official only to hear bad news a week before the big day. No words.
This life is so fragile, isn’t it?
And because life is so fragile, I have to trust Him.
So, this morning I hit pause - something I don’t do well. I hit pause to sleep in, to wake up without an alarm, to move slowly this morning, to sit quietly, to think about these people in my life who are hurting and, since I easily forget to be thankful when I’m busy, to cultivate thankfulness (Colossians 3:15 MSG) in my heart again.
I’m thankful for a God who is consistent and kind when I am not. A God who does not have a gavel in his hand but who’s a friend and who is close when we’re broken-hearted. A God who has a very good track record of gently taking care of us, if we take a moment to notice. I am thankful for a God who we can “fix our eyes on” (Proverbs 4:25), cling to, and trust because He is good.