by Shirlee Vandegrift

When a friend hurts so do I.

The other day a friend was telling how lonesome she was when her husband of many years died.  He was confined to a rehab/hospice facility for a while before he went home to be with his Lord, and that was hard enough, but when she was no longer able to visit with him there every day it was worse.  So final.

It hurt to hear her relate the last days with her precious soul mate. We both shed tears as she told what she missed the most.  Hugs were top on her list, along with the songs he sang to her every morning.

As I listened I was moved to ask her what I, and other friends of hers, could have done to make that grief easier to tolerate at that time.

Her answer was, “Nothing.”

I was almost sorry I asked.  But I’m glad I did.  I may not be able to help a person who has experienced a terrible loss, but I am open to anything God wants to do through me to help.  I may be helpless but God isn’t.

Now over a year has passed and my friend will tell you what she has learned and how she has grown; still through tears, but with God’s hand in evidence; and I am reminded of Psalm 46: 1-2: “God is our refuge and strength, an ever present help in trouble.”

Thanks Lord, I needed that.

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