I wrote a devotional some time ago about standing in an isolated cemetery watching a tiny casket being put in the ground as friends buried their baby. It was a lonely place, a frightening place. As a cold March wind whipped at us I felt the icy numbness of our friends’ shock, the desolation of their loss. And I felt impotent in the face of it. There were no answers to the hard questions in our minds.
Writing about it helped me, but I wondered how others would feel when they read what I had written. The devotional was published in a local paper. The next Sunday the father of that little baby tapped me on the shoulder just before the morning service. He told me he had been in a restaurant on his lunch break and had picked up the paper to read while he ate. He saw the devotional. He said he ate his burger with tears streaming down his face. Then he said, "It was good, what you wrote. It was part of the healing." There were tears streaming then, too.
Then I realized I wasn't an outsider. I wasn't just one who was there to record the event. I was one who was to be part of it, part of the process of pain and solace, fear and courage. I was struck with the awesome grace of God that He would give me such a gift, the awesome plan of God that He uses each of us, in so many different ways, to bring healing and reconciliation and love to one another.
Feeling marginalized, disconnected and isolated is a common human condition. We are all broken in many ways, and often living with pain. Perhaps when we feel it we should look around and ponder, in that place, how God is going to make us part of the healing.