The God of All Comfort

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.

For just as the sufferings of Christ are ours in abundance, so also our comfort is abundant through Christ.

–2 Corinthians 1:3-5

Shocked. Confused. Saddened.

I learned last night that two dear people I knew had died. I am still trying to wrap my head around the news. It’s been a little over 24 hours since I learned what happened so I’m still in the early stages of this…

I had talked to my Mom and a friend about it that night.  But then I had very few words. Only pauses with “yeah” occasionally mixed in. It just felt so enormous and profound.

This morning, as I prayed for myself, the families, and the loved ones left behind, I ended up on Facebook and started reading the stories of those who had been touched by one of these dear ones’ lives. I so appreciated their stories of how their lives were touched. And I felt a prompting to join the conversation too.  There was something so real for me about that moment, as if I had tapped into feelings that the shock of the sudden news had removed from my reach the night before.

I wrote furiously on my phone as the thoughts and feelings began to pour out into what was meant to be a wall post. But as I alternated between writing and crying and writing some more, I realized that I needed more space to express some of what was going on inside of me.

So I wrote…

two entries for two women who left us so soon…

Arlene.

Praise.

I came into work a little later this morning a little bruised by all that had happened. I’m so thankful for the people I work with and for an understanding boss. They are good friends, my work family.  I had a long talk with one of those friends and she just listened and empathized and understood. We talked a good while about the overwhelming events that had occurred and the gift, responsibility, and wake-up call that they represented. We talked about life and difficulty and perspective and Jesus. It was good to talk. It was good to have another listening ear to provide care and comfort.

I also shared what had happened with my immediate team, the three guys I work alongside in the same little room we affectionately call the “webcave.” There weren’t many words in response – there didn’t need to be. They cared by just listening too. It was good. I was beginning to feel…and feel closer to something normal at that.

Then the day went on and life happened.  I was glad for the busyness. I was thankful for the times I could laugh. I felt so thankful. But I’ve known enough mourning in my life to realize that I will be drifting back and forth between the sadness and whatever normal is.  It’s to be expected.

The day is gone and evening has come, and now I’m back to writing some more.

It is true. Writing is cathartic.

On the drive to work, I put in Tenth Avenue North’s Over and Underneath album. Having listened to it over and over, it was the one CD that I knew I could resonate in such a tender moment as this.  One song in particular really connected with me. I’ll share it here.

Tenth Avenue North
“Hold My Heart” (Listen on YouTube)

How long must I pray, must I pray to You
How long must I wait, must I wait for You
How long ’till I see Your face
See You shining through

I’m on my knees
Begging You to notice me
I’m on my knees
Father, will You turn to me, yeah?

One tear in the dropping rain
One voice in a sea of pain
Could the Maker of the stars
Hear the sound of my breaking heart?

One life is all I am
Right now I can barely stand
If You’re everything You say You are
Would You come close and hold my heart?

I’ve been so afraid, afraid to close my eyes
So much can slip away before I say goodbye
But if there’s no other way
I’m done asking why

‘Cause I’m on my knees
Begging You to turn to me
I’m on my knees
Father, will You run to me, yeah?

One tear in the dropping rain
One voice in a sea of pain
Could the Maker of the stars
Hear the sound of my breaking heart?

One life is all I am
Right now I can barely stand
If You’re everything You say You are
Would You come close and hold my heart?

So many questions without answers
Your promises remain
I can’t see but I’ll take my chances
To hear You call my name
To hear You call my name

One tear in the dropping rain
One voice in a sea of pain
Could the Maker of the stars
Hear the sound of my breaking heart?

One life is all I am
Right now I can barely stand
If You’re everything You say You are
Would You come close and hold my heart?

Hold my heart
Could You hold my heart?
Hold my heart

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