Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Heartache in the Christmas pillow aisle

Sad week last week.

And it all happened within twenty-four hours.

A man walked into a bar . . . and oh, how we wish it were just another joke.  But you know what happened. Twelve fell in a rain of gunfire, one a survivor of the Las Vegas shooting. 
In another circumstance, friends  lost their daughter in an accident leaving two teenage children without parents, their dad having died a few months earlier. Then, another heartrending situation close to us that I’m unable to share. Compared to these, this next one is the least, but our eighteen-year-old cat went into a steep decline. Her departure seems imminent. Now, I know she’s over a hundred in human years and has had a great life, but somehow those facts haven’t helped much. She sits on my desk as I write.

So,  I stood in a craft store last Friday looking at Christmas pillows and yet not really seeing them. I was praying in my spirit, consumed by the heartache of people I knew, and people I didn't know. I wanted to get my head above an ocean of sad. When I did focus on the pillows, the cheery sayings almost seemed mocking. It was NOT beginning to look a lot like Christmas.

The owners of this store chain are Christians so instrumental hymn arrangements piped through the overhead speakers and one of them filtered into my spirit. I tried to think what the words were and hummed it to myself. Oh, yes, “Be Still My Soul.”

As I pondered those words I heard someone say, “Beverly.”

I turned to find my friend, Sue, whom I don’t see very often.

“How are you,” I asked.

“Sad,” she said.

It turns out their family had also been dealing with a terrible tragedy this past week in addition to losing their beloved next door neighbor.

I shared a bit about our week and pointed to the words of “Be Still My Soul” that I’d pulled up on my phone. “The Lord is on our side,” I said. “We’re not alone." I told myself the Lord is also on the side of those who I've been so burdened for.

She nodded, tears in her eyes. We hugged standing in the middle of the craft store aisle, carts zooming around us, the overhead speaker breaking in for someone to bring Christmas tree G from the stockroom.  I thanked God He is indeed a faithful Friend in every change. And I thanked Him for an earthly friend, too. Right there in front of the Christmas pillows, God poured out a healing balm in my heart and Sue’s heart.

So, even through the sadness of these days, I’ve had a song. God met me with a touch of his grace in an unlikely way and He will do the same for you, too, friend. When those waves of heartache threaten to unravel your spirit, remember"Be still my soul.” God is on your side.

Amazingly, we may soon find, it will be looking a lot more like Christmas.

 "The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and save those who are crushed in spirit" (Psalm 34:18).
Many prayers for those touched by these tragedies. Listen to "Be Still My Soul," here or here.
The books:



Alton said...

Oh sweet Bev, I've had a couple of weeks with these types of experiences. What a blessing your blog is to me! You stated, "I've had a song..." Thought you may enjoy this: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4AMbSYiirMA (Shannon led worship at a conference I recently attended at The Cove. Much love to you, Freida

Bev varnado said...

Thank you, Freida. I will listen. I know you are acquainted with grief and yet you are known by your smile. You are a huge witness for the Lord and a precious friend. I love you much!!

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