I soaked in the silence surrounding me and released a sigh from somewhere deep within. These unusually quiet moments afforded me a much-needed reprieve, but the thoughts swirling about my mind were anything but relaxing.
“We’re living in unprecedented times.” Indeed we are, and these unprecedented times often leave me with an overwhelming concern for those I love.
I don’t know about you, friend, but it’s easy for me to get caught up in my own tiny world. To pray for a relatively small circle of people. To focus on meeting the needs of those closest to me, while giving little thought to those farther away.
Losing sight of a hurting world – of the precious, wounded people within that world – is not hard when we’re consumed with keeping an invisible disease out of our own homes, away from our own families.
But as difficult as it is for me to consider harm coming to my own, I must ask myself, “What about those who’ve already endured loss? What about those who are suffering at this moment?” What about them?
What about the families left behind? The spouses and children and siblings robbed of their goodbyes. What about them?
There are so many families affected by this pandemic. So many affected by tragedies such as 9-11. So many affected by sudden loss due to accidents, suicide, murder and undiagnosed medical conditions. So, so many. What about them?
When we hear their names. When we see their faces. When we read their stories. When we see another number representing another loss. When we’re sitting in our comfortable homes surrounded by those we love.
I wonder… Do we pause? Do we pray? Do we think about them?
Do we consider who they really were?Someone’s mom or dad or grandparent. Someone’s child. Someone’s sibling. Someone’s friend. Someone’s beloved.
Oh friend, may we open our hearts to love these families more. To immerse ourselves into their places of pain. To allow ourselves to feel for them, to feel with them. To appeal on their behalf, offering prayers of comfort, peace and guidance over them.
May we allow God to work in us. To shape and mold our hearts until they more closely resemble His. To break our hearts over the brokenness of others. To make us incapable of turning a blind eye to those He asks us to help.
Regardless of what it costs. Or how uncomfortable it makes us feel. Or how painful the process may become.
May we be brave enough to ask it of Him anyway.
Lord, give us a heart for others.
Lord, what about them?