Sunday, December 4, 2011


I watched her move the food around on the plate as she sifted through her belongings resting next to her at the table. Expecting her to devour each morsel with ferocity, instead I kept glancing back at her repeatedly over a fairly long time. Her shirt was worn and thin. With dirty hands and nervous looks, she finally made her way through the meal. I wish I would have said something to her, even sat down next to her for a while. Instead, I filled up her water cup, cleaned up the table space she consumed, and wondered where she was headed.

The look in the eyes of someone who has survived an attempt on their own life is unmistakable. It's so empty, so hopeless, so blank, so desolate. Not too far removed is the look in the eyes of the visitor. Wondering why it's happened and desperately seeking some answers, blame settles in for an uncomfortable stay. What does one say when you enter the room? Do you allow silence to dominate the conversation, or do you talk through the thick mask of embarrassment and pain? Slowly but surely, an embrace finally happens, and through tears, hope forms once again.

Lives are taken. When least expected, and often in very tragic ways, death arrives and leaves a mark. Children aren't supposed to be pulled from us, especially before they're born. The congratulatory remarks become piercing barbs as preparing for birth becomes the awkward explanations around loss. Loved ones aren't meant to die in the crumpled remains of an accident, left to pass on alone in darkness. Vulnerability chosen is admired, but our greatest strength comes not from ourselves.

He has been with me through the confusing times, the painful times, the times of loss, and the times of gain. It's easy to remember His presence when we are swimming in joy - as easy as it is to forget His presence when we are drowning in sadness. He is with me every day in every way, just as He's with you as well. Open your heart, your soul, your arms, your life ... and breathe in the love of Christ.

1 comment:

  1. Letting go is difficult. Seems like when that is when all the crap hits the fan, when we let go. And even so, the freedom is better than the grasping.