A few weeks ago I wrote a post about an encounter with a woman who was less than kind. She was rude, nosy and cruel in regards to Jalayne's accident. That experience left me struggling for quite some time. While I still cannot find it in myself to believe that her actions were innocent in nature, I have moved on from it and have chosen to forgive.
Today I had a similar experience that was entirely different and left me with a warm, if still sad, feeling in my heart. It happened while I was at work. A patient came in needing to have her blood drawn and was a bit apprehensive. In an effort to ease her anxiety a bit, I made small talk with her. After her comment that she had not seen me working at the office before, I told her that I had worked for this doctor before but took a couple of years off to operate a coffee shop. She very politiely said "a coffee shop? How nice, what made you decide to come back?" I began to feel a bit uneasy with the direction of the conversation but answered vaguely that after a traumatic life event, I needed a change and the simpicity of working for someone else. She seemed to completely understand and commented on the importance of keeping things as stress free as possible, especially if we have children. She asked the how many and how old question. I told her, ending with "my 2.5 year old died a year ago." Her face melted into compassion and she said "I'm so sorry, there is nothing worse than losing a child." She did not tell of any experience, but instinct told me that this was a woman who had known this great sorrow. She then asked, "was she ill?" Feeling completely at ease and unthreatened by this woman, I answered very honestly "No, she died in a water related accident." She did not say a single word but her expression spoke volumes. This woman was hurting for me. She opened her arms and, being a rather large woman, enveloped me in a big, warm hug. Then, with misty eyes, she placed her hand against my face and said "try to have a lovely Christmas and remember, there is heaven."
As she turned and walked away from me, I was struck by the stark contrast between this and the experience I had a few weeks ago. Two women, both Christians, both asking essentially the same questions. One left me feeling weak and hopeless, the other reminded me of the hope that I have. One made me want to punch her in the face, the other made me want to stay in her warm hug a little while longer. The difference was in the tone of voice. Where one seemed kind and compassionate, the other was cruel and accusatory. The difference came from deep within the hearts of these two women. I believe that both love the Lord, but only one of them allowed His love to spill over onto others. While the light of the holy spirit radiated from one, it was lost in ugliness in the other. Life is filled with choices and tonight I know which of theses two women I would choose to be like..........the one who was more like Christ.
CS Lewis once said that "grief is like the sky, it covers everything." In recent weeks, our family has found that this is so very true. It seems that there is no right or wrong way to travel this path of grief. I have created this blog in hopes that some day we will be able to look back on our journey and see written proof that our great God never leaves us. God is good all the time.