Monday, February 04, 2008

When Pain Hits Home

“I am worn out from groaning; all night long I flood my bed with weeping and drench my couch with tears.” ~ Psalm 6:6

I read with deep sadness Joann Kahnt’s editorial last week about the many losses your community has suffered lately. Young lives – children, grandchildren, brothers, sisters – so full of promise, cut short long before their time. Neighboring communities have also experienced the tragic loss of those who were far too young to die. The Gideon and Short families have both lost young sons in the recent past. A family in Atchison lost their son in a traffic accident last month, and their other three children were severely injured. A pastor we know lost his sixteen year old son to suicide. There were no warning signs – no red flags signaling that trouble was stirring in his young heart. My sister recently told me about a family she knows who lost their three daughters in an automobile accident just two weeks before their son’s wedding. Shortly before their deaths, all three girls had posed for individual pictures wearing their mother’s wedding gown. Now their parents have only a memory of what their daughters would have looked like in their own wedding gowns.

How on earth does anyone cope with such grief?

As Joann pointed out, we may never understand why things like this happen. All we can do is pray for the ones left behind to grieve, and purpose to live each day that we have to the fullest in their honor.

Several years ago the Alta Vista community lost a 29-year-old young man in a terrible car accident. At that time, I expressed sympathy to his family in my column. I also shared I poem I had written in honor of the many young people the Alma community had lost over the years. Later, the mother of the 29-year-old man wrote me a note to thank me for my thoughts. Today, I would like to share that poem again in hopes of touching just one more heart. The other poem was written by the mother of a friend of ours, Gina Blake, who kindly granted me permission to share it with all of you.

In closing, I wish to extend my deepest sympathy to the Cunningham, Hopper and Smith families as they grieve the tragic loss of their loved ones.

“. . .I have heard your prayer and seen your tears. . . .”

~ Isaiah 38:5


Too Soon Gone
By Eileen Umbehr

This is a tribute
to those who’ve passed on
Before their time
Too soon gone

No one was ready
To say good-bye
Because they were all
Too young to die

Anthony, Jason and Tracy, too
How will your families live without you?

Javier, Ted, Dickie and Veryl
Why did they have to leave this world?

Jack, Norman, Galen and John
Why are they too soon gone?

There is still a void
Where you used to be
An empty spot
On your family’s tree

But even though
You were too soon gone
In our hearts
Your memory lives on

You are not only missed
By those who loved you
But by those of us
In the community, too.


The Beauty of a Broken Heart

By Gina Blake

There are times in our life
We don’t understand
The what, the where, the why
Those are the times we will find ourselves
Gently wrapped …. in Jesus’ arms …..
As we cry

In his hand He holds a bottle
Catching every tear
Those are the times Our Savior…
Draws in so very near

As each tear falls
He counts them one by one…..
Not one tear can fall…
To the ground

For it is not…
The will of the Son
With each tear that falls in the bottle
The healing has begun.

For as it falls
Our Savior is knitting ever so gently
To mend the tear in our heart
And make it whole again.

“For You have been a stronghold to the poor, a stronghold to the needy in his distress, a shelter from the storm, a shade from the heat . . . and the Lord will wipe away tears from off all faces. . . .”

~ Isaiah 25:4,8