Last March, a young woman at our church - a wife and a mom and an all-around incredible follower of Christ - was diagnosed with cancer, and after a brief battle, she went home to be with the Lord. I didn't know Christina well, but towards the end of her life, she asked that me and my friend Heidi sing at her memorial service. And that service was awesome! Not at all because I had a part in it...I could barely choke out lyrics with that lump in my throat as I watched the faces of her husband and young son. It was awesome because this woman lived to the hilt! The way in which Christina lived her last weeks of life was no different than how she lived every day before she was diagnosed. I was 7 months pregnant at the time, and I remember leaving that service amazed by how she lived, but also so distraught for her husband and son. I wondered how people even functioned after leaving a memorial service for someone they loved.
In June, just weeks after planning a memorial service for my son, guess who came to mind? Christina. So, I got out a notecard and a pen, and I wrote a simple note to Ken, Christina's husband. I told him how impressed I was by his beautiful wife. I told him that he was a great dad. And I told him that we have so much to look forward to because we both have incredible treasures awaiting us in heaven.
I prayed for Ken often, but I never heard from him after that...
After giving me a big hug, he told me that he appreciated my card...so much so that he's opened it and re-read it many times in the past six months.
And my brief interaction with Ken brought to mind all the people who have gone out of their way since our son died to let us know that they care...that they remember our heartache...that they miss Zachary, too. I have re-read many of the heartfelt cards that people have sent us.
I didn't send that card to Ken so that I would receive a "thank-you" or an accolade. But his response was a good reminder to me that when someone you know is hurting, do something about it. Pray for them and look for practical ways to be helpful. Offer to bring them a meal or groceries. And remember that saying something, even if it's that you don't know what to say, is better than saying nothing at all. I know there's at least one person coming to your mind right now, so go grab a notecard and a pen and get a card in the mail tomorrow.