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|Photo adapted from source|
A few days ago my three older kids came tromping home from a two-day adventure with their grandparents.
There was joy. There was laughter. There was candy.
Each child gleefully opened goodie bags they’d brought home. Special gifts from Papa and Gamma. Each bag contained, among other things, huge multicolored lollipops. They oohed and ahhed over these cavity-inducing treasures.
The girls ripped into theirs right away but my son knew that this was a special treat. He wanted to linger a while longer in expectation, so he decided to wait until after naps to have his lollipop. Oh, the self-control. 🙂
Later that day, my son bounced down the stairs with a huge grin on his face and a twinkle in his eye. The time had come! Time for his treasured lollipop! He happily went to get his bag and I went to put the baby down for a nap.
Suddenly there was a loud crash. My son cried out in a panicked sort of way “MOM! Oh no, Mom! Oh no!” I came rushing down, expecting the worst, and saw him crying over a floor covered with lolipop shards. He was absolutely devastated, the way only a 5 year old can be at such confectionary disasters.
I tried not to smile as I gathered him up in my arms and sat in a chair. As I rocked him and looked into his genuinely sad face, my mind wandered to a harder tragedy. And it lingered there. I began to cry with my son.
Not a week before, some close friends of ours lost their baby. I saw my husband’s tears as he talked with the dad who was driving on his way home from the hospital. I read the mom’s words as she described what happened. I heard the mom’s voice. I saw the letters of the baby’s name appear across the screen as we chatted. I could almost hear the painful beating of her mom heart from several states away.
My son and his lollipop made me think of all the times when good gifts are snatched away. Too soon. When expectation turns to disappointment and joy turns to mourning. That these things will happen even though it’s not how it is supposed to be!
I wanted so badly to take away the pain from our friends. To make it all better. To say or do the one thing that eased it.
I still want that.
But with this sweet mom, and with all the other friends who have experienced great loss – and even with myself – I have mostly silence to offer. Silent tears and silent, shaking sobs. Silent prayers and silent whispers of hope that I know are true in spite of the pain.
So many times there are just. no. words.
But God is still speaking. He is speaking truth and life, even in this fallen place and these dark situations. Even in the midst of pain. Especially there.
In times like these, each word and each breath feels like straining to hear His Word and to see His Light.
He promises that He’ll be with us. We know this and can offer it as the lifeline to ourselves and others. Let us cling to His side and hang on His every word.
I wiped away my son’s tears and said “Hey buddy, I’m sorry. Sometimes these things happen and it stinks. It’s not your fault. I know it will be hard, but let’s keep moving through the day, ok? Here, let me help you.”
And we prayed.
I published this with permission of the sweet couple I mentioned above. Would you consider praying for their little family right now? God is with them. And He is with you in whatever storm you are facing today.
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