Someone is listening.
Lots of planning is going on for upcoming events – some is fun to hear, and of course, other things are painful IF/when I focus on what I don’t have rather than what I did have – and do have.
How sad would it be, one friend asked, if we never had the joy of knowing the love and presence of the loved ones who are now with the Lord?
To love, and be loved.
I have known that, and do know that. I know I am loved thanks to many of you reading this – many who at just the right time send a note or a scripture.
In the midst of all my pondering, and tears, someone was listening. I was given a friend’s bookmark memento featuring their loved one’s photo, and brief obituary. I read a lot and use such bookmarks to pray for their family and the lives that person impacted. I was given encouragement to make my own with Laurie’s photo and local obituary on it. I called the place named on my friend’s bookmark and asked if I could have a few made, the response was, “I can do that.” I got a quote and a few days later a call that they were ready. When I picked them up I was told, “Of course there is no charge.”
Of course – from someone who has experienced a similar loss.
I especially appreciated the verse at the end …”No one can take them out of My Father’s hand.” – Jesus – John 10:29
A bowl of soup joined two aching hearts a few days later, as I shared Laurie’s bookmark with another who had a double loss and was now feeling alone – and invisible. I didn’t mean to make her cry again – and she said she didn’t mean to make me cry either. But someone was listening, and the scriptures from our memorial cards gave us hope, and the stories we began sharing of their lives and exploits brought comfort and meaning to us.
We each determined to make someone else feel that someone was listening, by beginning or continuing new traditions in honor of our loved ones. One of hers is to pray for and support those who lost babies – whether infant or preborn. Mine is to pray for and provide gardening and farming supplies for families overseas and in the U.S. and to do a pay-it-forward meal as I am led, in memory of my Dad. In these ways we can do part of what we know was in the hearts of our loved ones, and realize in their stead the joy of sharing their passion.
I wonder why I am left, my friend said to me. Selfishly, I asked, “Have you been praying for me?”
“Why yes, of course,” she answered.
“And didn’t you just share about others you pray for and encourage as you can?”
“I see where you are going with this,” she responded with a chuckle. Her acceptance led to sharing other prayer list names and events, and some of God’s answers, as well as other things we asked for peace about, realizing we may never have answers to them while we are on earth. The knowledge of prayer was important to us and we want to let others know we take the time to bring their grief and their needs before God.
An email my daughter sent her dad in 2008 hangs near the computer. She expressed gratefulness that she was driving an older vehicle which had no radio because distractions were eliminated so she could “have time each day to pray for you! God answers prayer! (it never gets old!)”
Do you pray for those your loved one left behind? We know our other family members prayed each day for them…
Have you lost a loved one, or know someone who has? Have you a new tradition to remember their precious life and passion in a way that makes a difference in others’ lives? We would love to hear your ideas, as it may encourage others who are having what singer Mark Schulz calls “A Different Kind of Christmas.”
Go ahead. Plan it out – write it down, and share it.