This weekend, I was folding the endless river of laundry that consumes my home and I tuned the television to the Hallmark Channel. Yes, I am one of those crazy ladies who loves to watch the Hallmark Channel and I'm not ashamed to admit it. Anyway, the Janette Oke series was on and I recorded them all because there was no way I could sit in front of the TV for that many hours in a row. I'm rambling now. Moving on. So I watched the first movie, Love Comes Softly.
This book is one in a lovely series on a family facing varying circumstances in the West. Love Comes Softly is the story of woman who is widowed on the trail out West. Alone, a single-father swoops in to rescue her, taking her in, giving her food and shelter, all in return for her help with his daughter.
There are so many things I could say about this beautiful book/movie, but one scene really stood out to me. There is a moment when the leading man takes the leading lady (play by Katherine Heigl I might add) and tells her they're going 'to church'. Church is atop a hill overlooking a beautiful landscape. There is a bench there and they sit. Leading lady, Marty, asks leading man, Clark, how he can have so many good things to say about a God who has let so much bad happen. Clark gets emotional and tells Marty that it's like how he is with his daughter. He loves his daughter, wants the best for her, never wants to see her get hurt or to have anything bad happen to her. But, he could be walking right beside her and she can still get hurt. He goes on to say that God doesn't want bad things to happen to us or for us to get hurt. He says that God never said bad things wouldn't happen, but God promised He would be there with us when they did.
A good friend, "S", sent me a text message a little while ago asking for positive thoughts today. She was called into the 'office' at work and was told that a co-worker who she was close to, passed away last night. Her co-worker was married with a young child...and is her age. Receiving her text really jogged my memory back to the words of Clark atop that hill. It's so hard to understand suffering, loss, sorrow and grief. It's hard because it hurts and because we are creation formed in the image of a Creator who loves. We love. When we love and we loose the thing we love, we hurt. God knows this hurt. God knows loss. God knows suffering...it was hanging on the cross.
It's important for us all to remember that God did give us a beautiful promise, a promise that we will never be alone. We don't suffer alone. We don't grieve alone. We don't cry and scream and wale and retreat...alone. God is always there like the loving parent walking beside us. God never promised we wouldn't fall or get hurt. God did promise He would be there to hold us when we did.
Go in peace today, knowing you walk with the One who loves you beyond your wildest dreams. Be in peace today, knowing you are held by the arms that held Jesus in his suffering.
Live out peace today, giving this knowing to those who need it in their time of hurt.
"Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted."