I will call her Minnie. I have talked with her a number of times in the cancer clinic as she came for her chemo treatments. As Minnie has been trying to deal with her cancer diagnosis and treatments she also lost her daughter to cancer this past year. She told me how she had wanted to go out east to see her daughter before she died but she wasn’t feeling very well herself and her daughter kept putting her off saying that she wasn’t up to having company. Minnie was frustrated because she wanted to get closer to her daughter in the time that remained for them. She wanted to talk about their relationship. She wanted to bring some closeness between them. She wanted to forgive her daughter for moving away and being so distant from her. She wanted to be forgiven for the wrongs she had done. But her daughter would not listen to the yearnings of Minnie’s heart and her hopes were dashed.
As Minnie shared her pain with me it was apparent that this experience with her daughter remains an open wound in her heart. For many mothers and fathers we are reminded again of how we walk around with our hearts outside of our bodies. Only Jesus knows how much this hurts the heart. Only Jesus can stand with us and promise us that some day all wounds will be healed and we will find the peace we are seeking. As for you and I who meet people like Minnie let us listen to their pain. Let us validate the severity of that pain. Let us not hurry to advise or give a quick response as if this is something easily remedied. Let us sit with them and feel with them and by our walking with them let them know God was also present in that conversation. We don’t know when. We don’t know how. But we trust in His own way and in His own time He will heal what we cannot.