A couple of weeks ago, one of our much loved friends and ministry prayer partner, who has faithfully provided meals for each of our workshops for the last two years, suddenly and tragically lost her 19 year old son.
Our friend and her husband are in full time ministry and greatly loved in our community. The response to their sudden loss was evidence of how deeply loved they are by so many of us who weep with them. I ask you to pray for them, and for their three children, son in law and two grandchildren, one born the day before their son’s death.
I felt compelled to share with you what I experienced when I visited the family in their home the day after the incident. I was overwhelmed by the outpouring of love as friends, ministry partners and neighbors moved in and out of their home bringing the sweet presence of Jesus. Jesus’ fragrance filled the air in this home which had been plunged so suddenly into sadness and loss.My friend and her children radiated the peace and presence of the Lord even in the midst of their confusion and grief. My friend confessed that her deepest longing was that this tragedy bring God glory and others to know Jesus.
The greatest impact on me that day was watching the friends of my friend’s teenage children. Her daughter’s best friend, a teenager, had flown in to support her friend the day of the incident. This sweet girl remained quietly in the background, saying little, allowing others to interact and bring their condolences to her friend. But she was there, watchful, a quiet steady presence of reassurance and love, supporting her friend by just being there.
Four young teen friends of the son of the family also turned up the day of the incident, and sat with their friend all day, not saying a word, just sitting with him, being a presence and a comfort. The day I visited, the same group of young men were still with their friend, sitting with him, saying little, but giving support and strength through their presence.
Those young people impacted me demonstrating the importance of our presence in tragedy. We bring Jesus with us. We may not say anything, but being there matters. The love and sensitivity of those young people towards their friends in their suffering, was deeply moving, it spoke love out loud. They may never know they were noticed, but I hope they will know that their presence counted that day – even for me.
And for all the other believers I met there – each one brought Jesus into the tragedy. It was a powerful encounter with the compelling beauty of the family of God. It was the Bride in her beauty, united in her love for the Bridegroom, bearing His fragrance and radiating His presence through love for one another. The power of His love in the face of despair.
Please pray for our friends. Pray for their children. Pray the presence of Jesus will continue to guard and heal their hearts and minds, and fill their home with His healing and comfort. Pray they will be lifted up by the presence of Jesus in the believers who surround them.
Thank you for loving them in prayer.
Yours in His overwhelming love