Friday, July 8, 2016

In the Muggy Nights after a Month of Headlines

I remember it, how the air was hot even though it was September 2007 and how Mark had crossed the stage, his shoulders carrying the pain.

Photo Credit: Flickr user Mick Baker Rooster, Creative Commons, cc license
Photo Credit: Flickr user David, Creative Commons, cc license
His voice softer than normal, he had smiled at the forty or fifty students in the darkened worship sanctuary and said, "Well, we had planned to tell you exciting news tonight--"

Several junior high girls squealed in excitement, missing the qualifier.

"-- about being pregnant, but Jen and I miscarried yesterday. We're sad and grieving but we know that God is still good."

The teens had gasped, sighed, and moved instantly to crowd around us. Not trusting my voice, I had simply nodded and bit back tears. The students and youth leaders engulfed us, putting hot hands on our shoulders, backs, arms, and heads.

Their words spilled out on a sticky muggy September night, and my sadness spilled down and over. They spoke words of grief aloud to us, and to our God, and they hugged us tight.

Today, in this week of muggy days where sadness leaks out for so many names, that image flashes back to me. Because the most comforting thing about that night in 2007 was how they came alongside to simply cry with us and to honor that little one's life.

In our world with so much violence and grieving and death today, can we just come alongside in the muggy nights to say: we cry with you. We ache with you.

Your loved ones' names matter. Their lives mattered. 

We ache and grieve with you. We moan in surprise and pain at each new headline, and we say your names from Florida, Iraq, Saudi Arabia,  Louisiana, Minnesota Texas, Syria, and more.

Your names matter. Your lives mattered, and we ache with you and sit in respectful crying sadness with you in the dark muggy nights.


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3 comments:

Bill (cycleguy) said...

it is true Jen. Lives matter. Doesn't matter the color or the nationality. When will we understand and realize that?

Linda Stoll said...

There is no more beautiful gift than quietly coming alongside ...

Floyd Samons said...

Each life is ordained by God... which makes each one miraculously significant. I pray the nation would see all of us as that... which is seeing with the eyes of our Father.