About two weeks after my brother’s funeral I was on the phone with my mom.
She said I’d never guess who were their first visitors after everyone heard the news.
The moment she mentioned their names I knew not only who they were, but what their presence meant.
They understood what we all, and especially my parents were going through. Not that long ago they also had to stand in front of open graves.
They’ve wrestled with unanswered questions and experienced the indescribable pain.
They know that grief never really ends – not on this side of eternity. And that those of us who are still alive simply need to find ways to keep on living.
They chose to show up anyway. To go knocking on the one door that was sure to remind them of their own loss.
They didn’t go because they knew exactly what to say, or do… No one does.
They simply knew what it was like to be on the other side.
This life has many doors and most of our struggles and negative experiences are not as public as losing a loved one.
With the result that we may end up sitting behind closed doors, feeling alone in our grief, guilt, shame, relational issues and addictions.
Struggles that are often almost impossible to deal with in isolation.
Of course it doesn’t help if we’re in the habit of putting on our ‘happy’ masks the moment we walk out the door. Not to mention adding an extra layer of makeup on Sundays – just in case.
Our hope is that God knows exactly what’s going on behind each door… and He still comes knocking.
He meets us where we’re at, regardless of how we feel or look and He knows the depth of both our pain and joy.
He is God with us and His presence changes everything.
Sometimes He also gives us the gift of a friend or community who ‘gets it’.
Other times we have to follow the gentle lead of the Holy Spirit reminding us when it’s our turn to ‘go knocking’.
I’ve learned not to be surprised when our greatest struggles lead to open doors and opportunities to serve others. (In other words our purpose.)
I pray that you will know when to open and receive, or go and knock.
I pray that you will be reminded over and over again that you are not alone!
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