I met Jennifer at a writing conference last summer. She lost her husband when she was only 36 years old with two young kids. I asked her the best way to support widows, and she shared these memorable words:
“Aside from serving, just sit and listen to her; for many of us, we want and need to talk about our husbands, our kids, our hopes, our dreams, our fears. But, after time goes by, people stop asking and assume it’s time for us to ‘move on’. Check in with your friend emotionally and be a ‘heart with ears’ for her. Asking and listening are things people tend to stop doing as time passes.”
With George H.W. Bush passing on, many of us have probably reflected on our own lives. Repeatedly, people said he led a life of humility and love. In what ways can we also lead with humility and love? How can we point our kids to loving in this way?
Making meals (with our kids) for friends going through difficult times, watching their kids for them, and sharing stories of Jesus loving first, are just a few ways our children can see what it means to love. And, as Jennifer said: Be a “heart with ears” so our friends know they are not walking alone, but that we are in it with them. “By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” Jesus
To all of you missing a loved one this holiday season, just like Jennifer, we remember you. To another young widow, Kelly, who lost her husband in service to our country, we remember you and are praying for you also. I pray the Lord would comfort each of you, show you his love in an unexpected way, and fill you with his presence. In Jesus’ name, amen.
You can read about Kelly and Adam’s inspiring story in their book, “Fearless”. THIS day, let’s choose to love the Lord with all our hearts, all our souls, and all our minds, and love our neighbors as ourselves. Today, who can you surprise by loving them in a simple way? “Not all of us can do great things. But we can do small things with great love.” Mother Teresa.