Finding Joy in Shared Sorrow

Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep.
-Romans 12:15

Losing Sebastian didn’t just effect our family.

We have some dear friends that weren’t able to be at the funeral.  They came to the hospital the night Sebastian was born, but they were already planning to leave for a trip to visit their daughter’s family that week.  They check in with us each week at church to make sure we’re doing okay, so I decided to bring the professional photos to their house Friday night to share.  It was a late night already, but I cued up the two slideshows.  It was also the first time the kids had seen either of them.

Both of my bigs broke down.  The wife of our friends broke down.  But we were all together, so there was plenty of love and support to go around as well.  There is a simple joy and peace in the ability to be vulnerable, whether with people you know well or with people you barely know.  The gift of caring for others in their pain doesn’t have to be lengthy off-the-cuff prayers or lavish gifts (though those are both fine – beautiful even – if that is how you are able to comfort another).  A hug, a short “I’m still thinking about you” note, a quick but sincere “how ARE you doing?” – they all let the burdened know they aren’t bearing their burden alone and draw you into their life in a deeper way as well.  Who couldn’t use for more *real* connections in this 140 character world anyway?

A pastor friend said something recently on a radio show about vocation that really stuck with me.  I’m paraphrasing.  Something along the lines of sometimes it’s our vocation to do, and sometimes it’s our vocation to receive – to be done unto.  Whether that’s a patient in a hospital who receives care with kindness and can be a blessing to his doctors and nurses who care for him or in our case being the “sufferers” who receive the love and care of our Christian friends who are offering themselves to us.  That has truly shaped my thoughts recently.  I’m used to being the doer, but I’m not able to always be in the doer role right now.  Working on being the receiver when necessary to allow others to fulfill their vocation as doer, too.  God keeps working on my stubborn heart.

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