March 19, 2018
During a recent visit with my daughter, we were talking about the traveling I love to do, both in Montana and across the United States as well as out of the country. I was sharing the great experiences my brother and I had with a People to People Program visit to Cuba. Among those experiences were several times when we got to talk extensively with people in Habana and Cienfuegos including our local tour guides.
Among many benefits of such interaction was the major benefit of realizing how much we have in common in life experiences, both good and bad. In talking with my daughter, I said .that I was aware now that my years of traveling as well as living in other states had subtly prepared me to know that I am not alone.
My book coming out in September deals with grief and depression and shares some ideas for coping and healing through walking with Jesus, the Light of the World. One concept related to light is that of the candelabra, where the light is intensified when we all shine together. At the same time, we need to be aware of all the grief that is shared.
When our son died, many repeated the idea that parents are not meant to bury their children, that “normal” involves the other way around. Although we acknowledge that truth, we also learned another truth: that the world is full of parents who have buried children, from babies through older adults.
Does such knowledge make the hurt less poignant? No. Does such knowledge mean that in feeling for others we can share the hurt and help each other to heal? Definitely. Reaching out means opening our arms and eyes, moving the focus from miring in self-involvement to empathy and compassion.
God shows us through Jesus that empathy and compassion result in miracles, including miraculous healing for others and for ourselves, light in the darkness through His Light.