Not long after Tim and I gave birth to our precious stillborn baby, Mary Beth, in August 1991, we connected with pastors we knew at a local missions conference. I told them about our loss and that I was longing to put the emotional upheaval behind me.
“Yes, I’ll pray with you. But in some ways,” one of the pastors said, “I hope you will never recover entirely from this experience. I hope God keeps the pain fresh so that you can reach out to others with the comfort that is still fresh from Christ.”
At first, I was a bit confused with the remark. Hoping I’d never recover entirely? That was crazy. I was in a cycle of sleeplessness and depression. Sign up for more? No way!
But I gradually came to understand what she meant. I grieved our loss, and slowly, my joy returned, one ounce at a time. Years later, I encountered parents who’d just lost a son or daughter. I found that I could climb inside my heart and make a connection with the cracked and hurting part of me as yet unhealed. We’d both lost children. We spoke the same language – without words. We shared a common bond.
I was able to draw alongside, to listen with compassion, and offer comfort.
Have you ever grieved someone close to you? If so, what did you do for comfort? How have you been able to comfort others?
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