Tuesday, October 07, 2008

in Huamachuco, Peru

Over the last three years, as we have traveled, we have heard from many who have suffered loss. Some lost parents, some extended family, and a few who lost children. Each time, the stories have had impact on us, each time, we have left prayerfully lifting up the other.

Last night was the first time we have spent extended time with a couple whose situation mirrored our own.

Their pain is much more recent, and their emotion frayed because of it. They are precious people who are learning to carry on, without their one and only son.

Hearing their hearts, and sharing memories brought laughter, tears and maybe a little healing.

In some respects, I realized how far the Lord has led us through this journey. In others, the reality that the pain clings like a closest friend abiding in adjacent silhouette.

I remember feeling as they do, that I had to get involved. I had to be more active in sharing the Gospel. I had to learn from the life of my son, that there is much to do, and I can no longer hang out in the wings, but must get on the stage and be part of the change that so many need.

I remember feeling physical pain that promised to devour me, and wondered when it would relent. When would I be able to take a deep breath again? When would focus return? When would I begin to enjoy the small things in life, once more?

All of these things have come to pass, and I am not sure I realized it until last night.

For them, its been 7 weeks. Thread bare emotions, tautly pulling and seemingly popping, one by one. Where is the end of this madness? Always, in the arms of a loving Savior.

We have so much in common...this is a strange sort of mercy. Neither would want to understand the deep pain of the other, and yet we do. We are brothers in this fraternity we did not pledge. Members of a club we paid dues for, but signed no agreement.

Our sons were so much alike. Always putting others first, engaging in sports but lacking the 'killer instinct,' being "love" for those who did not understand what it was and those who did. They loved Jesus more than life and were prepared to give their all...and did.

My heart travails for theirs. The depths of their pain seem unfair to plumb, and yet we try...together. God has a plan for them, and they are pursuing Him. Deanna and she found solace in the very same book..."Heaven" by Randy Alcorn...the long version. He found blessing in it as well.

They have a daughter, still in college, but focused also in missions. The heartbeat of this family is pursuing Christ, and seeking to help others do so.

At a time when others would be mired in bitterness, they cling with blistered grip to the Only wise God. And then the realization, they don't have to hold so hard, He is holding them within His wing of protection and bringing peace and affirmation as it is needed. Portioning out grace when they fear they cannot go on. HE IS THERE!!!

He is no stranger to their pain. He saw fit that we are not witless to their torment. He provides vision in our blindness. He brings drink to our thirst. He helps our feet find the path when our staggering threatens a fall over the precipice of insanity. HE IS THERE!!!

I am so thankful for Him! Through them, He has blessed us. I am thankful for them, He has blessed us with new friends.

At times, progressing through the grief seems a blood and mud soaked garment that drags along behind us...not wanting to face it, not recognizing the odor, yet being compelled to it for our own benefit. His mercy has provided us with that which we never thought would come, and even as the mirror reflects it back to us, we strive to seek only Him and His glory. His provision covers the ugliness and the putrid aroma.




At 1:57 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

God Bless,
Greenfield, Indiana

At 3:23 PM, Blogger Marti Pieper said...

Your post today reminds me of the following passage:

"All praise to the God and Father of our Master, Jesus the Messiah! Father of all mercy! God of all healing counsel! He comes alongside us when we go through hard times, and before you know it, he brings us alongside someone else who is going through hard times so that we can be there for that person just as God was there for us. We have plenty of hard times that come from following the Messiah, but no more so than the good times of his healing comfort—we get a full measure of that, too." (2 Corinthians 1:3-4, MESSAGE)

Praying His healing comfort for two incredibly precious families,

in pink
with tender love,



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