Condolences Offer No Consolation

Photo by Franck V. on Unsplash

The phenomenon of life and how we take moments for granted.

Every morning I arise before the sun and quietly prepare my husband's supplies for the day. Breakfast sandwich....check. Lunch...check. Coffee...check. Like a true 1950s housewife I stand in the driveway and kiss him goodbye in an almost commercial-type way. This morning we hugged a little longer and kissed a few more times before we wished each other well and said, I love you, then goodbye. He paused as he pulled out of our driveway and then drove away into the darkness of a new day. And not every morning is rainbows and sunshine. But today was a major exception and that’s because of our very awful yesterday.

If you live in South Florida you may have seen a story on the news about a Miami construction worker losing his life recently. The details and cause of his death are fresh and sting to those who work this trade, but the fact remains that yesterday just after twelve o’clock in the afternoon this world lost a great soul. A father, a husband, a son and a brother both blood and union. The devastation of this loss will be a tremendous one to bear.

These things you read about on the news everyday. This shooting or that killing or this death or that arrest and you think to yourself “that won’t happen to me”. Until it does. It isn’t until tragedy knocks on our doors that we even have the slightest thought in our mind that something ominous could be looming around the corner. You make your husband lunch and kiss him goodbye not knowing if that is the last lunch or last kiss. The moment I got this news yesterday I was breathless. My chest tightened and tears welled up from inside and overflowed. Life is so precious. Each moment a borrowed piece of Gods greater plan. The morning my father died he was watching my mother manically clean our house before we left for the day. He stopped her and simply said, “The dust will be here tomorrow.”

Those words have played over and over in her mind for 30 years as she even still mourns the loss of her one true love. And true to the poetic man he was, on his headstone it reads “It never needed to be any other way” a quotation from his favorite book Atlas Shrugged by Ayn Rand. And 30 years later that pain and anger and all the steps of the grieving process aren’t as tough anymore. But for my union sister who has to lay her husband to rest, the pain is all too fresh for any healing to be seen. It is in these very tough times that we, as Christians, are taught to trust in God to help us manage this new pain.

In Matthew 11: 28-30 it reads:
28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”

And maybe in these moments of trial and tribulation rest isn’t available so you choose anger and you shake your fist at heaven and cry out “WHY?” And I can’t answer that question. No one can. There’s very little consolation in condolences. And I certainly can’t make anything better by documenting this family's torture. In this loss I have to believe that my God can bring about something good as he lifts this man up and brings him home. And I have to choose to be faithful even as I sob for this wife and mother and for his children. But in the end, as my father said, “It never needed to be any other way.”

Reality Changing Observations:

Q1. On a normal day of your life, what kind of moments do you think you may be taking for granted? How could you change that starting today?

Q2. What could you do in your own life to make sure that each day, even a bad one, is treasured?

Q3. How have you made efforts in your life to secure your loved ones in your absence?

Be safe, Be great, Be You!
Amen
Natalie

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