I've seen my husband go in and out of the church office a lot this week. He'd stop by the house for brief moments, then go out again for hospital, hospice, and home visits. We have aging church members facing their end of life. We have friends battling health challenges. Surgeries. And through it all, I'm soaking in the weight and responsibility that he carries as their shepherd and friend. This morning, we received word that one of the people Joel was visiting at the hospital this past week passed away, and he quickly finished his breakfast to be with this grieving family. So here I stayed.
As I was washing the dishes and my children were arguing (and playing) in the background, I found myself overwhelmed with grief. I began to remember the late night call I had received from my sister that my father had passed away. September 9th 2002. I remember calling Pr. Paul & Delia. And I remember having them come, with Ruth (my friend and mentor), to be and pray with me. How special that was! In a time of true grief and pain, the Lord sent me community. He knew that I was to go through loss WITH people. Not without them. Not alone. I needed community.
And today, as a pastor's wife, I am reminded of the crucial role that Joel's presence plays in a time like today's. And I ask myself whether I've been "that person" to encourage, to comfort, or to simply be with a friend in need. True community happens when we are willing to take down our pride, our selfishness and our "need" for privacy and "me-time" in order to share in the JOY or TEARS of someone else.
Who can I call today? Who can I text or send a message, just to let them know I was thinking and praying for them today? Who needs to be noticed? Who's alone or wondering if today is worth another breath? Who can I send a note or card?
Ask the Holy Spirit to reveal to you today...
Whose name come to mind?
Send them a card/note.
And that's it. No expectations. Remember, we plant the seed. The growing of that seed is totally up to Him.
So today, I'm choosing to see Jesus in the grief of others. Jesus is already there. Just like He was for me, almost 15 years ago...