published in Inspire a Fire, September 3, 2012.
It’s been a part of my life for as long as I can remember.
I didn’t understand it then, as a three-year-old asking questions about my father–the mysterious man with the gentle smile from the picture.
I understand it even less now, forty-two years later as I’ve seen grief in action on the faces of many of my loved ones.
My heart is tuned in to those who hurt, who grieve, who wonder how they can find a way to go on when half of them is missing. Their stories stop me in my tracks, and I have no choice but to reach out to them. Not because I have any answers, but because I get it.
Sometimes, I am left speechless by their stories. The depths of their pain is matched only by the depths of their faith. As their bodies are ravaged by disease, their spirits inch so close to Heaven that they can feel it, smell it, and taste it.
And then they are able to explain it to the rest of us. The ones who still don’t understand.