We watch football on Saturdays. Blessed by the love for a great game, my boys can disappear for hours into the world of college football, perspiration, raucous shouting at boys and men stationed hundreds of miles away They make plans days in advance about the menu and the company and the winners and the losers, and they get lost in the heart of the battle. They always have.
Last Saturday was no different and for that I am so thankful. However, I don't get lost in college football.
"There is a time for everything, a season for every activity under the heavens..."
There are grief pamphlets and dealing with loss literature, and books on grief in every place I land - in the event. So when I arrived home from Midwest City and my visit with my girls, I found one of them. ("Finding Hope and Healing" by Kenneth Hauck). On the page the little book opened, this acronym waited for me. H---E---A---L
And these words..."The key to talking through your grief is finding people who will let you talk and help you heal. I call these healing people. H. E. A. L. stands for:
Healing people are here for you when you need them... They know that their presence is one of the greatest gifts they can give....People with empathy will do their best to understand and to let some of your pain touch them.... Accepting - they don't try to change you. They let you tell your story again and again because they LISTEN."
Amy, Amanda and Sharon and I sat and visited for hours, and they listened so well I drove home with a lighter soul than I have had in days.. Those of you who faithfully visit this virtual space are healing people -taking the pieces that I offer and walking off with them so I no longer carry the weight.
A trip to the mailbox yielded another copy of Taylor's EMSA bill, but I had cleared space in my heart to receive it after my patio time with my girls and their mama. Under that evil, white envelope, sat a package from my friend Tracy - the sister grief brought me. Wrapped in colorful tissue paper lay this magnet:
I wish I deserved Tracy's faithfulness. I wish she didn't know this pain.
There's an old proverb in literature by Kahlil Gibran. I won't share the entire prose; the teacher in me wants you to find it and think about it on your own:
"The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain...When you are joyous, look deep into your heart and you shall find it is only that which has given you sorrow that is giving you joy. When you are sorrowful look again in your heart, and you shall see that in truth you are weeping for that which has been your delight."
I am so thankful that our God provides us with enough love that we can float on a sea of sorrow but be buoyed by the connected web of friends and family. Sometimes, like Tracy, they sit at the bottom of the ocean floor and acknowledge. Sometimes, like Amy, Amanda and Sharon and dozens of others, they swim out to the dinghy and float with. us. Each has a time, a season and a purpose under heaven and each has the warmest light.
You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.