It doesn’t take long to find suffering in this world. Sudden loss can be catastrophic to an individual or family. It’s at such a time you realize there really are no words that can express your sorrow for your friends/family/fellow man.
Within the last year I’ve had several friends and relatives who have suffered losses. A husband is gone within three weeks of a terminal diagnosis – a friend is divorcing after 35 years – a relative loses her daughter overnight. I cry with each of them, try to support them, but there really are no words that comfort what they feel.
This takes me back decades to the loss I felt when my brother was suddenly killed during a hunting trip. It was the first day of deer season in Texas in 1975. I received the call early Saturday morning that the jeep my brother had been riding in overturned – he was killed instantly. How? Why? I was angry at God for taking my brother. Everyone loved him … he was a good man. Why, God?
Then in 1993 and 1994 I lost both my parents within nine weeks of each other. I was numb, moving in robotic motion. In my solitude I would cry, missing them both dearly. I wasn’t angry at God, but saddened at the loss, though grateful that neither of them had to suffer any longer from debilitating illness.
Then in 1997 my husband and I experienced severe setbacks. To this day I believe the losses I experienced earlier in life somehow prepared me for this. I was bitter at first feeling like I was in prison, but over time, and much prayer, that bitterness turned to gratitude for my sanctuary.
Throughout each of the losses we face in life, it is the quiet presence of friends and family that sustains us. No judgment, no instruction, no “I know what you’re going through.” Just plain love and prayer.
“To have God speak to the heart is a majestic experience, an experience that people may miss if they monopolize the conversation and never pause to hear God’s responses.” (Charles Stanley)