Two sets of parents very recently held funerals for their twelve-year-old sons just three weeks before Christmas. I can’t even begin to imagine their heartbreak. Even though it hurts just to think about the grief being endured, I take comfort in Psalm 34:18 The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit. May God grant them the grace to live each day in His strength.
Under these circumstances it is difficult to say Happy Sunday.
Another of my church friends climbed the stairway to heaven yesterday, leaving behind happy memories in the wake of grief. Joanne’s husband, daughters, family and friends will miss her smiling face and gentle ways for a long time to come but will take comfort in knowing that she will be as loved in heaven as she was here on earth.
Dying has to be one of life’s most grievous tasks, and yet, as we all know, it is inevitable.
May we all take consolation in knowing that this dear lady faced the end of life as she had always faced life itself, with grace, dignity and love.
I was intrigued by Joe Biden’s speech last night. Among many of the inspiring words he spoke, he mentioned a favorite hymn of his late son, Beau. It captured the faith that sustained Joe in his lifetime; a lifetime of much grief and sorrow. And yet he came through it with his faith intact and achieved his goal of being elected President of the United States after two previous attempts.
This hymn speaks to many of us, but not all of us hear it. Here then is OnEagle’s Wings sung by Josh Groban. Happy Sunday.
Although we may be feeling unwell, grieving a loved one, facing another challenge, we are not alone in our distress even if it feels that way at times. Just knowing that there is a green pasture beside still waters and Someone to turn to for comfort and guidance should be blessing enough. Happy Sunday
Last Friday night on the outskirts of Humboldt, Saskatchewan, a horrific bus crash changed the lives of this community and surrounding areas forever.
Toronto’s Globe and Mail reported fifteen people, including 10 players between the ages of 16 and 21, were killed when a semi-trailer crashed into the Broncos’ bus late on Friday afternoon. As of Monday, 12 people remained in hospital: four in critical condition, four serious and four stable, according to Saskatchewan’s health authority.
There has been an outpouring of grief and support from around the world and I among many shed copious tears for the lives lost, those spared who will face ongoing traumatic healing, and those left behind to grieve the loss of their precious loved ones.
There are those who ask where God is at times like these.
The answer is He is with every single person whose life is touched by this tragic event.
The answer is He shares our grief.
The answer lies in John’s gospel, chapter eleven, verse thirty-five…Jesus wept.
One hour after her eightieth birthday, Barbara was blowing out candles in heaven. It was one birthday her husband and daughters could not attend physically, but be sure they were wishing her well in the midst of their own grief.
Two months after his one-hundredth birthday, Bob traded in his wheelchair on earth for a chariot in heaven. Bob’s birthday party was well attended and a resounding rendition of “Happy Birthday to You” filled the auditorium of St. Andrew’s Scarborough where both Bob and Barbara had attended for many, many years.
Yes, in January we at St. Andrew’s bade farewell to two more of our dearly loved members; people who not only attended the church but attended to the church in so many ways over the years.
We were one month into the new year when Barbara and Bob climbed that stairway to heaven, following in the footsteps of the many who had gone before them. We at St. Andrew’s who love our people deeply, also grieve deeply when they answer that final call to “Come Home.”
Although they leave behind two separate families who miss them, they also leave behind one church family who misses them also.
And so we say not “Good-bye” to Barbara and Bob, but “Just for now.”
It is a sad time for many people who have lost loved ones very recently. No one can know the depths of another’s grief; no one can feel another’s aching feeling of loss; no one can bear another’s pain.
Life and death are caught up in each other’s shadow, in that death is a part of life and life is a continuation of death. Christmas is a very difficult time of year to have to face this reality. But then, is there ever a good time? I think not. Loss is loss whenever it occurs.
It has saddened my own heart to hear of the recent passing of two lovely ladies; one I have known for over sixty years, and the other I met just a few years ago. Both were, and are near and dear to their families and close friends. Both have left a gaping hole in the hearts of many.
Ecclesiastes says it best in chapter three, verse (1) There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under heaven: (2) a time to be born and a time to die, (4) a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to mourn and a time to dance,. (NIV)
Laughing and dancing will not be on the agenda of some of us this holiday season, but we will honor the lives of these two ladies and be sure to include them in the memories of Christmases past.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted. Matthew 5:4.
That’s the name of a movie I watched last night, starring Aaron Eckhart, Jennifer Aniston, and Martin Sheen, among others. It’s a romantic drama about an inspirational author who helps people deal with their grief after losing a loved one, while all the time harboring his own.
There were some offensive language issues to get past, but the plot was good, Jennifer was her usual relaxed and believable self, and Martin Sheen closed the decidedly moving movie with some gentle humor.
It is a movie that brought tears to my eyes, a smile to my face, and a few outright bursts of laughter. It is a feel good movie that I will definitely watch again.
This is not a review by any means…just another form of feeling the love. With Valentine’s Day just ahead, feeling the love is a good thing.