I woke with a sense of heaviness this morning. Much on my mind. Family members suffering, relationships strained. I checked Facebook as I got dressed to face the day. More heaviness—two sets of parents helplessly standing by bedsides of adult children with life-threatening health problems. Tears blurred my morning routine. God, where are you in all of this?
This past Sunday we listened to possibly the best message on suffering I’ve ever heard. Yet still, with this fresh on my mind, the question returns. Where are you?
As I sat down to pray, looking out on a white, cold world, a seemingly random thought came to mind. A cold January day. 1999. Still reeling from the horrific news that my sister-in-law had died in a head-on car accident, I stopped at the house of long-time friends. As I sat and talked, she brought a blanket and tucked it around me. And then a cup of tea. And listening. When it was time to leave, he went out in the bitter cold and started my car. Small kindnesses, but exactly what I needed at the moment.
The memory brought to mind other moments of grace: The year my husband was laid off—walking out to the car and finding the back seat filled with bags of groceries. That same year—an envelope in our mailbox. $10. No name. Then there was the day I answered the phone to hear my son was in the hospital in possible liver failure, and a friend—a person who is definitely not a hugger—grabbed me in a bear hug and said, “I’m so, so sorry,” as I cried.
I think back on so many perfectly timed phone calls. “How did you know I needed this right now?” Or “thinking of you” cards—how could that friend have known when she put a stamp on that envelope that I would need that encouragement today, at this moment, as I opened the mail?
Where is God in these heavy times? Right here. Showing his love in touches of grace from an anonymous friend, a cup of tea from a sister in Christ, a perfectly timed phone call from someone willing to listen.
Lord, forgive me for the times I’ve mislabeled acts of kindness, failed to see them as your presence. And show me, today, who needs a touch of grace. Use me—to hug, or write, or listen, or make that call. Or that cup of tea.
If you’re reading this on a mobile device and you’d like to leave a comment, please go to the bottom of the Home page and click on View Full Website.