I was there in the kitchen when Annette’s mom took a massive stroke. One moment, she was laughing and smiling; the next, she had a strange look on her face and her eyes seemed out of control. It couldn’t have happened at a worse time. It was during Annette’s 10th birthday party, when everyone was supposed to be happy and joyful. I remember that within minutes all the kids at the party were ushered upstairs out of the way. We soon heard the sirens of the paramedics, and then about half an hour later, we were all sent home.
For the next seven days, we all prayed for Annette and her mother. And then came the news that Annette’s mom had died. It was the very first time that death had ever touched our generation.
Annette changed after the funeral. Before, she had been a happy person with beautiful sparkling green eyes that I still remember to this day. She became quiet and withdrawn, and those lovely eyes looked hollow and lifeless. None of us knew what to do or say. We were too young to understand and too helpless to reach out.
Bible verse for today
Psalm 142:4 Look to my right and see; no one is concerned for me. I have no refuge; no one cares for my life.
Annette drifted for a while and grief struck her very hard. I guess she must have thought that no one cared for her life, or that no one was concerned for her. I cannot imagine what she endured during her teenage years, and I’m sure that she still dreads each year when her birthday comes around. Wherever she is today, I hope and pray that she has found the love that she lost, and that her bonnie emerald eyes sparkle with joy again.
There are times in each of our lives when we feel isolated and alone, insecure and vulnerable. During those painful and petrifying moments, God holds on to us, especially when we begin to lose our grip of Him. No matter what we endure or experience, God is there to love and support us, just waiting to guide and embrace us when we are ready to receive Him again.
Prayer: Lord God, today we pray for lonely hearts and sad eyes. We prayerfully ask that You touch those whose lives are wounded by loss and grief. Surround them with people who care, and concerned friends. Help them in the midst of their fears and foes, their despair and depression. In Your Holy Name, we sincerely pray. Amen.
John Stuart is the Scottish pastor at Erin Presbyterian Church in Knoxville, Tennessee.
If you would like to comment on this message, he would love to hear from you. Just email John at firstname.lastname@example.org