19 Feb “Be a Friend”
An author and retired pastor, Ward Tannenberg, wrote the following concerning losing his wife:
“It is Valentine’s Day. We hold hands, as we sit alone in a small office waiting for the doctor. At last he enters, followed by a nurse; no cheery hello, only a glance, as they sit across from us. At last he looks up from the unopened folder in his lap and says, ‘Mrs. Tannenberg, there is no easy way to tell you this, but we are 95% certain you have pancreatic cancer. I’m sorry.’
The room feels cold. Her hand feels cold. The nurse says nothing. The doctor waits. Finally, Dixie asks, ‘How should I feel about this diagnosis?’ He pauses for a moment and then replies, ‘Nervous.’
Wordless, we walk from the office down the long hospital hall to the elevator, out to the car and start the drive home. Halfway there, I am finally able to utter four words, ‘I am so sorry.’ She replies quietly, ‘Me too.’
No plans. No roses. No cards. No dinner out to celebrate. No Hallmark ending. Two lovers at home, holding onto one another. Fragile. Breakable. He, wanting desperately to be there for her. She gathering in herself what this means.”
You may wonder why I would take the time to write these sorrowful words of a dear retired pastor. Because, those who survive have a special heartache. They have a hole in their heart. We see them on Sunday in church. We see them at Walmart, or the grocery store. Behind those weary eyes is a person bearing their heartache alone …
,,, UNLESS someone, like you or me takes the time to give them a cheery “Hello.” UNLESS we, the family of God accept our God-given assignment to go beyond our own comfort zone. We can pick up something they drop, or help them with their grocery cart. Perhaps you will start a small conversation, “How are you doing today?” Who knows? You might be on the cusp of a Divine Appointment! It may not have been you, but the Holy Spirit who prompted you to look into their eyes, give them a smile or help them in some small minuscule way. You might extend yourself and speak a little more to them. Suddenly, the opportunity will come to invite them to church. Better yet, you could offer to go by their house and pick them up for church, and promise to be their friend, and stick close to them as they meet people at church.
Lonely hearts are begging for a chance to have someone who cares reach out to them. That could be you, this week!