Friday, August 14, 2015

Whatever you do for the least of these...

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how I have felt abandoned by God in all of this misery. 

So I got to thinking about where I have found my comfort and support.  Of course my family first and foremost my daughter, my son in law, my husband, my sisters, my brother & my best friend but where was God in all of this?  Well the first help and comfort I received was from my church family – all of whom were with us from the moment we found out and there for us throughout that entire horrific day.  Then throughout the week following their deaths – we heavily depended on them for so much.  There was the Preacher and his wife – to preach the service and play the piano and to be there to sit with us, cry with us and pray for us.  There was a steady stream of Deacons and their wives, and the rest of the church family all there, at one time or another bringing food, drinks, paper goods, hugs, tears, offers of help in any way we needed.  They continued with phone calls, cards, emails and sporadic visits for many months even bringing us fresh vegetables from their gardens.  And even this past week a drop in visit as they remembered that the anniversary was coming up and they thought I may need someone to be with me.

Then there were all the cards and the beautiful and thoughtful “comfort basket” from my daughter’s Sabbath School class.  A group of ladies from the Seventh Day Adventist Church my daughter attends – all women that did not know me but sent me inspirational books, cards, a special coffee mug, picture frames, soft cuddly throws and CHOCOLATE!  It was the sweetest gesture.

I have even received, right along with my sister, a steady stream of funny, sweet, uplifting cards for a solid year now from the mother of the preacher at my sister's church.  

Then we attended Grief Share classes at one of the largest Church of God churches in Atlanta where we were given books, advice, comfort and support while we met in a group of people who had all experienced loss and watched inspirational, helpful & hopeful videos to give us hope and teach us ways to survive this loss.  I also made a good friend there that has kept in touch and I’ve had dinner with several times.

And when my sister went home and the grief blind-sided me again – she (as if she had nothing else to think about!) contacted a church sponsored group called Stephen Ministries.  Where they have volunteers that train to be paired up with someone in an emotionally trying situation of loss to listen and offer friendship and comfort.  I have been meeting weekly with the sweetest lady that sits for a couple of hours a week and listens while I tell her the details of this horrific story.  A heavy burden emotionally for her yet she keeps coming back.  She actively listens.  She isn’t judgmental or disgusted.  And, when I want to talk about my love for my son, I don’t get “The Look”.  She is kind and considerate and thoughtful and she also meets with a group of “prayer warriors” weekly in a Prayer Shawl group and they knit or crochet shawls or afghans and the entire group prays over it and then they give them to someone in need of prayer.  She brought me the most beautiful blanket that all of the women in her group had prayed over for me!  They are from a Methodist Church fifteen miles away.

Days after the kids were found, we received a letter in his mail box addressed to the "Family of Brian, Kara & Paxton" expressing sympathy and telling us how sorry they were and how they were praying for us.  It was from a church fifty miles from us.

I have spent days and days listening to the comforting messages of Charles Stanley, a minister from the largest Baptist Church in Atlanta.  He is on the radio and his sermons are broadcast on TV and online from their website.   I listen every day to what has -- at times been a life-saving message.

I have also for the first time in my life begun listening to Praise and Worship music.  I am a Southern Gospel old Church Hymnal kind of girl and have never cared for the new age modern worship music but the very first person to contact me from my blog sent me a link to a song by Mercy Me called the Hurt and The Healer and I fell in love.  And I’ve been listening to them and all praise and worship music ever since.  It has become such a comfort and such a help to me and I have found a new love that I will no doubt hang onto from here on out.

So what is the common denominator here? 
Yep, God.  That same God that I felt had abandoned me. 
There have been Churches  -  Baptist Churches, Seventh Day Adventist Churches, Methodist Churches, Church of God Churches, Presbyterian Churches – all sending help and comfort my way continuously.  All God’s people --doing God’s work; “being Jesus to the least of these.”  God was bringing me help and comfort in my grief and pain – through the kind acts of His people.  I couldn’t feel Him or find Him but He was there all the time; sending His earthly workers to be the music that soothed my soul, the inspirational teaching that got me through that day, various formal ministries to be my listeners and my guides through the strange and hostile world of catastrophic grief, new friends and even strangers to be my comforters and my own church family to be my physical help. 
He has been there for me --through all of you!
If you ever think that what you do does not matter – think again.  If you have a talent (and everyone does) whether it be carpentry, gardening, crocheting, knitting, talking and being an inspiration to someone, or listening to give someone an outlet for their pain, cooking to provide a meal, singing, preaching or praying – God can use it if you let him.  And trust me when I tell you, it makes a difference.  Some days the difference between life and death.

Sometimes You are all of the God some people ever see.  I know because I have been one of them.



  1. Beautifully put andrea. Love nancy

  2. Thanks Nancy. Glad you liked it. And it is so true! And it is funny how we look and look and sometimes do not see what is right in front of us. Hope you are well. Love and prayers to you.