Holidays sure do have a way of creeping up on you. If you’ve lost someone you love dearly, you know what I mean. I was on a plane coming home from Seattle this morning and out of nowhere, literally nowhere, I started to cry, even before the plane took off. I had not been sad, I had not even been thinking about the holidays or my son at that moment. I cried and I cried (as silently as I could and trying to hide behind my scarf) all the way to Boise. I just couldn’t stop. I haven’t cried like that in a long time. You see, there were just so many mothers and fathers and sons and daughters on the plane traveling to be with their families for Thanksgiving….I could feel that “family coming together” energy SO strongly and it was just too much for me, I guess. Finally, as the pilot announced our initial descent into Boise, the grandmotherly woman in the seat next to me touched my arm and said “I see you are in pain”. I nodded, tears streaming down my face. “Have you lost someone you love?” she asked? I nodded, and choked out the words “my son”. She asked me some questions about how old he was, how did he pass, etc. Then she looked at her husband sitting next to her as if asking for his consent, and told me about their son who left by suicide seven years ago, at the age of 30.
I know that God seated me next to this beautiful spirit this morning. It wasn’t that she said anything in particular that was helpful to me, it was just that she cared. She saw my pain and she reached out to comfort me. Suddenly I didn’t feel alone anymore, and I remembered that I don’t have to keep my pain inside of me.
It never ceases to amaze me that God knows what I need before I do. God knew that I would need love and understanding from someone this morning. He did His part…..He put the woman and I together. But the most beautiful part of this story? This woman had a choice….would she ignore the weeping stranger beside her, afraid of intruding? Or would she choose to let her own inner light shine and LOVE this stranger? I thank God, and her, that she chose to love me.
Many people need extra love during the holidays, especially those who are suffering from the death of a special loved one. If you are a parent who has a child in Spirit, well, you know that only another parent can truly understand the enormous depth of loss and pain that we feel. During this holiday season, I ask you to make a commitment to reach out and comfort one another. Listen to each other and love each other. It doesn’t have to be
much, a small touch, a word to show that you care. We have no idea how our simple gestures of kindness can help another person, can temporarily ease their pain and dry their tears. I am so grateful to Mr. and Mrs. Culburn for drying my tears today. I send them peace and continued healing from their loss, and a blessed Thanksgiving with their family.
What will you choose to do the next time you see a stranger crying? Will you reach out and touch that person with your kindness? Because you never know, God might have put you there at just the right moment, and they just might be waiting for you!