Saturday, June 18, 2016
A Father's Day Message to the Fathers That Mourn
I don't fully understand what happens inside.
I can't explain the shift.
But it seems that when we experience loss, our eyes are opened to others around us that have lost as well. We feel just a little deeper for those experiencing pain. We are more empathetic, more sensitive, more aware somehow.
Living through loss can be devastating. I've share a lot about the loss I experienced in 2015, when my Mom and Dad became very ill and passed away three weeks apart from one another.
Since then, I've had days when my grief followed me around like a storm cloud, threatening to send a lightening bolt right through the heart of me.
Days that storms brought thunder that shook the ground beneath my feet, threatening to upend me.
Days that I've moved through the day as if on auto-pilot.
I've also had days, and now weeks, when I can feel God's healing balm within me. Days that I believe I'm stronger and wiser and better than before. Days that I know I've grown, not only in spite of my pain and loss, but because of it.
And yet, I know I'll never be the same again. My perspective is forever changed. I am forever changed. I am somehow more sensitive, more caring for others who hurt.
Now mind you, I've always been a "feely" kind of girl. I tear up quickly. I hurt for perfect strangers whose stories of difficulty and challenge I read, watch or hear about. Watching a touching movie moves me as if I actually know the folks I'm watching. I'm not a pet person, and it still breaks my heart to hear about someone intentionally hurting an animal.
After I lost my parents, however, I became even more connected to others' feelings. I care more. I feel more.
I guess I'm experiencing what the Bible explains in 2 Corinthians, Chapter 1*. When I experience trials and loss, God comforts me. Having received comfort from the Lord, I can in turn comfort others when they experience trials and loss.
So when I heard about the Orlando shooting and the 49 people who lost their lives, my heart broke.
Each murdered and injured person from that nightclub was a son or daughter, a sister or brother, a spouse or friend. Each one has left a wake of people that loved him or her. People that will grieve their entire lives for them. People whose lives will never be the same again. People that are forever changed.
It is to this group of folks, the ones left behind to continue to do life here, that I dedicate this post.
I dedicate this post especially for the fathers that mourn their children - gone-too-soon.
For the fathers of the 49 Orlando shooting victims, I mourn with you.
For the fathers of every victim from the countless school shootings that are becoming far too commonplace in our country, I mourn with you.
For the fathers of every victim of senseless crimes in every city, suburb and rural community around the US, I mourn with you.
For the fathers of fallen US soldiers from every military branch, I mourn with you.
For the fathers of those killed in terrorists attacks around the world, I mourn with you.
For the fathers that have lost a child to illness -- including mental illness -- since last Father's Day, I mourn with you.
The world mourns with you.
You are loved - by us who share this global community with you.
You are also loved by a compassionate, loving God. A God that has not forgotten or disregarded you. A God who sees your pain.
A God who sees YOU.
* "Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God." 2 Corinthians 1:3-4