Tonight I went to a monthly support group meeting for parents of dead children. I sat in a circle of grieving men and women and listened as they painfully recounted their loss and the baby steps they have taken to mend their lives. Like everyone else, I feigned as much hope as I could muster while feeling hopeless inside.
I lost my son six months ago and not a minute goes by that I am not thinking about him, feeling his presence or worrying that he is alright or not. Parenting doesn’t die until the parent does. And I am regrettably still alive.
My pain is beyond measure and beyond relief. Yet, daily I am asked how I am doing. The answer never changes-on the inside. I am lost, broken, destroyed, ruined, hopeless… As interchangeable as my feelings are, so are my memories of the people who have paraded in and out of my life during and since this tragedy.
Countless faces of ghosts of friends and family haunt me almost as much as my son. Who were these people and where are they now? Did I not hear an endless chorus of “We’re here for you, Paisley”? But I am looking around and I see no one.
Is it right to lend a helping hand if it’s only for that moment? Is it wholesome to promise the moon when it’s not yours to give? Even the people I know that have lost children remain silent. This surprises me as I am quick to reach out to others as it gives me a sense of purpose.
I’m through making excuses for what might be going on in the minds of others. I make no excuses for my behavior as well. I’m suffering and I want, no, need, no, expect assistance. I know over a thousand people in my city alone. Save for the large group that came out for my son’s funeral, I’ve seen almost no one and heard from very few.
Is it so hard to reach out and be a comfort to a friend?
As I re-read these words I can sense that they may come off as self pity. Maybe so, but it’s my blog and I’ll cry if I want to. Actually, I’m merely drawing a picture of a true-life event where too many people to mention-including a majority of which claim to be Christians-have royally missed a mark set by Jesus Himself. In Matthew 25, beginning with Verse 30, Jesus instructs us that caring for His people is synonymous with caring for Him.
As I struggle to forgive the pettiness, laziness and the oh-so-busyness around me while navigating through the greatest emotional pain a human can bear, I pray that the Holy Spirit will simply convict people to step up and take care of Christ’s people that are in need. How hard is a phone call, a visit, a prayer or a gesture?
For my remaining kids and me, six months has been barely a moment and yet we’ve watched the world go right on without us. Friends and family have vanished-many for good because our sorrow is too much to witness. We talk about my son and we weep often. Ours is not a happy house but one full of love and respect. And Jesus. For while many have abandoned, One remains sure.
I am beyond grateful to my Lord for how he has tended to this flock. We’re sickly, weak and maimed, yet He loves us and treats us as whole. He assures me every day that I’m not alone. And that He is not done with any of the AWOLs.
Shame on you, promise breakers. You who speak a big game when the moment is heated but disappear into the smoke and mirrors that is your life. We have all been called into spiritual service in Jesus’ Name. You are not exempt!
Now I will get a ton of emails and comments from people defending themselves. You do not answer to me, “friend.” You answer to Jesus. I’m on my knees daily begging for help in my agony. Care to join me, right where you are at, in a bit of humility before the Lord?
Jesus asked why we say we love Him but take a pass on doing what He asks of us.
Well, there’s a Man going ‘round taking names. Each one of us will have to give an account for our lives. Google the parable I referenced, show Jesus some respect, and care for His people.
And keep your excuses for the devil.