There are times in life when we are called upon to go alongside another and wrap our arms around them, holding their broken heart in our soul, while we allow the tears dripping from their eyes to mix on our cheeks with our tears. In this time you hear nothing except the deafening sound of grief. Time stands still while love, prayers and compassion are poured out for there is nothing else we can do to change the reality of their loss. The process unleashes a vulnerability as your emotions are rawly exposed and you exit the experience exhausted from what seems to have been an outer body experience.
Yesterday, that is where I was.
Long time friends, who now live in TN, lost their 26 year old son to a tragic accident. He was part owner of a film production company and working on a project in Oregon. His parents didn’t even know he was out there, until they received a phone call that his body had been swept off a huge rock into the sea by a rogue wave. His business partners watched as he struggled against a strong current in the seas below with nowhere to go. After days of searching, his body has still not been recovered.
My hand is trembling now as I try to type. When my girlfriend called me with the news, I was in shock. All I wanted to do was hold her, so we waited until most of their children had left and went and held our friends and listened.
For me, from a mother’s perspective, this truly is one of the most tragic scenarios a parent could experience. My friend was so thankful her last text to her son said, “I love you. You truly are my heart and soul.”
What I want to share next is God’s faithfulness in the most difficult of times.
Crissie told me that the morning after they learned the news she opened her devotional and read:
“I said in my haste, ‘I am cut off from before Your eyes’; nevertheless You heard the voice of my supplications when I cried out to You.
I sink in deep mire, where there is no standing; I have come into deep waters where the floods overflow me. Waters flowed over my head; I said, ‘I am cut off!’ I called on Your name, O Lord, from the lowest pit. You have heard my voice: ‘Do not hide Your ear from my sighing, from my cry for help.’ You drew near on that day I called on You, and said, ‘Do not fear!’”
Will the Lord cast off forever? And will He be favorable no more? Has His mercy ceased forever? Has His promise failed forevermore? Has God forgotten to be gracious? Has He in anger shut up His tender mercies? And I said, ’This is my anguish; but I will remember the years of the right hand of the Most High.’ I will remember the works of the Lord; surely I will remember Your wonders of old. I would have lost heart, unless I had believed that I wold see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.”
“Mightier than the roaring of the great waters, mightier than the breakers of the sea; the Lord on high is mighty!” Psalm 93:4
When their ministers arrived at their home to discuss a memorial service they asked if there was a particular direction they family might like to go. Crissie took out her devotional and Psalm 93:4. The ministers looked at each other. The verse they had written down to bring to this family was….Psalm 93:4.
God’s exhibits his faithfulness, his love, his compassion and his never ending Presence in such magnificent ways.
1,500 people showed up to the memorial in a clearing on the family’s mountain top property. These and many more have opened their hearts to let a little more of Jesus in and have all committed to love one another more deeply.
I thank God for each of you and your friendship, for the unconditional love you show me again and again, for the times you have come alongside me in unexpected tragedies like my grandfather’s murder, my brother’s drowning, my nephew’s death, Britton’s accident and this ole stroke.
So much we experience on this earth is a mystery, but the hope of heaven is a gem not only to hold onto, but the greatest treasure we have to give away.
Kelly Smith loved Jesus and I am certain is with Him now.