November 26, 2018
For my blog this week, I wanted to share a story which really touched my heart because it speaks not only to Thanksgiving but to so many people’s journeys and the comfort and needs they share, sometimes by chance.
I did a program for a group of Compassionate Friends led by a longtime friend of mine. If you are not acquainted with Compassionate Friends, they are community-based support groups for parents who have lost children of any age. They are all part of a nationwide effort.
This was a good-sized group of people who are all dealing with devastating darkness and reaching out to each other to find solace. I was honored to present a program for them, because I know that my experience is neither unique nor a source of expertise. All I want to do is to share some thoughts to encourage some productive coping and hopefully healing.
After the program, a middle-aged man sat down beside me and told me that he was my son Josh’s friend, that they had met when Josh was working on his farm equipment and had maintained the friendship with a lot of visits and good times together. He came to my program because he knew that any time someone like me meets someone who values their deceased loved one, that in itself is a comfort.
The story deepens. This young man and his wife had lost their twenty-year-old daughter to a car accident two years ago. What he told me is that in the five years since Josh’s death, he never could have imagined that Josh’s story could become a source of comfort for them in their family loss.
Do moments like this happen by chance? No, I believe in what one friend calls the times when God “winks” and another friend calls “little letters from God.” Somehow, He will direct our lives so that we make a connection with someone whose story we need to hear, and both they and we will gain more understanding of His grace and His power in our lives.
May God bless you with many of these moments.