A fire in Halifax, Nova Scotia, on Tuesday, killed seven children ranging in age from four months to fourteen years. Their father is in life threatening condition and the mother is remarkably unharmed…physically.
Can anyone even fathom the devastation this mother is dealing with?
Tears are not enough to wash away the enormity of this woman’s suffering in the moment and in years to come…her own tears and those of all who mourn with her.
Some will ask where is God in all this.
Along with the rest of us…Jesus wept. (John 11:35)
Today’s blog comes from part of Matthew Ruttan’s post on suffering. This is only a snippet:
There is a lot of suffering in the world. There is personal anguish and anxiety. There is family and relationship stress. There is oppression and violence and war. None of this surprises me because we live in a broken world. But it bothers me. It bothers me because it’s not what God intended.
We all have our tough times in life, of that there is no doubt, but when something like the following prayer request crosses my life path I have to stop and realize that there really are people worse off than I am. That little phrase was always the answer to my childhood complaints: “There are people worse off than you.”
Please pray for twenty-nine-year-old Andrea, a single mom from Sri Lanka, dying, and leaving her three children aged twelve, eight and six with grandparents in their seventies. Pray for God’s strength, help and comfort for this family in their tragic and difficult situation.
I love being part of our church prayer chain…it not only offers the opportunity to pray for people but it opens my eyes to so much suffering that I would otherwise be unaware of.
Please join me in prayer for these dear people…it is the least we can do.
Whether you are flying high or lying low, enjoy your Saturday to the fullest. Two of my daughters are flying across the ocean to visit their sister today and I am wishing them safe skies and a happy reunion.
He was a new member of our choir when he offered a solo rendition of How Great Thou Art. The strong, mellow baritone voice filled the sanctuary with sonerous sounds and a feeling of awe.
On Friday a gathering of friends, family and church family sang this very hymn in honor of yet another of our members who left us to sing in Heaven’s choir, after many years of loyal service in our church.
Laurie will be so missed by so many and I, for one, could feel his presence on Friday as we sang his favorite hymn, How Great Thou Art.
Last week I received a call from a friend of ages past. We had quite a chat, catching up on each other’s lives and making plans to reconnect over lunch in the nicer weather.
Of all the words spoken by my old friend, what stood out the most was, “I’m lonely.”
This lady had spent a good part of her life raising children and welcoming grandchildren. She enjoys Sunday worship and coffee time afterwards but then goes home to an empty apartment. She reaches out to family and friends via telephone but seldom do we reach out to her.
What do to do about loneliness? Obviously the answer is to be aware of these people and make a point of remembering that they do exist and are in need of friendship and caring.
It was a reminder that there are those whose lives would benefit greatly from a telephone call, a visit, an invitation to lunch…whatever it takes to ease the pain of loneliness.
The lonely are everywhere…in our churches, families, public places, long term care facilities, hospitals…everywhere. If you are suffering from loneliness, do what my friend did, make that call and say, “I am lonely”.
Are you fortunate enough to have a happy happening in your life this weekend? For me it is going to be a multicolored weekend of fun and family, feasting and celebrations. When I saw the picture of this tree it made me think of how blessed I am to have such a colorful life. Happy Saturday!
On Thursday I attended another end-of-life celebration. A dear friend in her 95th year had been declining for a few years after breaking a hip which never completely healed. This robbed her of her active life and eventually landed her into a long-term-care facility where each year she longed to be closer to her Maker.
Not long ago as I entered her room for a visit she called out, “Oh, Pat. I’m still here and I don’t know what to do.” “Well, Carol,” I replied, “there is a long line of people waiting at the gates of Heaven and you will just have to be patient and wait your turn.”
Carol had been very active in our church and community for over sixty years and as one of our elders, cared deeply for those in her care. She, too, had been a comforting visitor to many people and had seen many of her friends climb that stairway to heaven.
I had the opportunity and pleasure of meeting her two sons and daughter on many occasions while visiting Carol. Their love for their mother was very evident in the way they each attended to her needs at various times. There was affection, gentle chiding, wholesome conversation and endless hours of just being with her. They were always standing by her side.
Yesterday I heard that wonderful song, “Stand by Me” and it brought tears to my eyes as Carol and her devoted family came into my mind.
Don’t we all need somebody to Stand by Me? Enjoy this rendition from many parts of our world and have a Happy Saturday.