A longtime family friend died very unexpectedly last week in
a house fire. Jan grew up with this
gentleman. He was two years older than
her. She had known him all of her life. I have known his entire family for
almost 20 years. I watched his boys grow up. They are outstanding young
In the immediate aftermath of the fire, close friends
gathered to support those men, as they coped with the harsh reality of sudden
loss. During the course of several phone calls I became aware of gestures of
kindness that were appropriate and even sacrificial. It was one of the most of
the moments that my belief in the goodness of people was renewed!
But what stands out to me more than anything is a comment
that was made in the midst of the immediate crisis. I am fully aware of the inane comments that
people can make in the aftermath of a sudden death. Perhaps “stupid” is a harsh word, but it often
fits… But the comment that stands out to me was by no means offensive.
The spouse of one of the boys was out of the state when all
of this occurred. Plans were made to
have her flown to DFW airport in Dallas. Who will make the 12 hour round trip to Dallas to pick up her up and
bring her to the hometown of her husband? He was not in a position to leave at
that point. A family friend that was
present during this conversation said: “Do I get to go pick her up at the airport?” Ifyou place the emphasis on the word “get”,
you have some inkling of the attitude that was expressed.
He went. He picked her up. There were delays for various reasons. He took it all in stride. And he
delivered her safely to be with her husband during a time of unspeakable grief.
A simple comment. But I am holding on to it… In fact, I have
realized that my vocabulary is deficient. I don’t know when and how to use the
word “get.” What do I “get” to do
today? How will I “get” to serve someone
in need? I am grateful that I “get” to know such remarkable people. I have
known the man that made this comment for a number of years. But I choose not reveal his name or he might “get”
to sew my lips shut permanently. He is an
unassuming man that knows how to love.
“For the mouth speaks
what the heart is full of.” (Matt.