Posted by: howvoicebegan | 18/10/2010

Mourn with Those Who Mourn

I took one of the girls out with me to pick up food. I like to take the kids on small trips with me because it’s exciting to them, gets them out of the house, and makes them feel special. This one girl was the only one who hadn’t had a chance to go with me somewhere, so when it came time for me to go out, I asked if she’d like to come along. She was full of energy already, and she burst with even more at the prospect of going with me somewhere. We hopped in the car and headed out.

While I was waiting for the food, her demeanour quickly changed from that of excitement to distress. She complained of an extreme headache, and while I waited for the food to be delivered, she laid down in the car. I tried to piece together what could be causing her discomfort, as she had no previous history of migraines.
Soon she was throwing up. I was a bit disturbed about it because just a few days earlier I had another child throwing up in my car. I wondered if my driving leads people to extreme motion sickness, or if this was just coincidence. At least I can say I have reached my rite of passage into adulthood by having a child throw up on me.

After the initial wave of nausea finished, she immediately sat up in the car, looked out the window, and pointed to a car slowly driving by. “That’s my dad,” she said. “He doesn’t even notice; he doesn’t even care.” Then she lay back down and hardly moved until we reached the home.

When we got back to the house she was fine. It was only for that time in the car that she was extremely sick. The timing of her sickness and that of seeing the man who one day abandoned her with no goodbye makes me really wonder what’s going on in the spiritual and emotional realm surrounding this girl. Did she sense it before she saw him? How does that make someone feel to see their father and know that they aren’t on his mind? Does he ever wonder where she is; does he think he’ll ever meet her again someday? Did God’s heart crush with hers while the Serpent smirked?

Sometimes you really have no answers. This was one of those times for me; as I watched the car drive by with an anonymous man inside, too preoccupied to look around and see his abandoned daughter just so close, I had nothing to say to her.
Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
Rejoice with those who rejoice, mourn with those who mourn.

I still have nothing to say to her—if we could go back in time and relive the moment, I would be none the wiser. It’s easy to play Judge of the family members and to feel indignant. Instead, I am called to simply mourn with those who are mourning their losses. I know what I can’t be—a replacement parent, criticizer, condemner, avenger, swallowed in anger. But, I can be captured by Christ—as a mourner, forgiver, server, lover, patient in affliction.

We live in a deeply wounded and hurting world caused by ourselves. As individuals, we are powerful. We have the power to apathetically or venomously inflict pain on others. We have the power to pour ourselves out as a fragrant offering, living a life of love. As I was placed in a situation that beckons my mothering nature to care for a sick child, I found myself even further humbled from being a care provider to being much less than the child: that of an adult with no answers, a mere being capable of nothing greater than mourning as I watch the man pass by, his daughter’s body in the care of my arms.

Mourn with those who mourn. This is today’s calling for me.



  1. Leslie, your true story brought tears to my eyes as I reflected on the little girl in mourning. May God give you strength and insight to deal with these children day by day.

  2. […] couple weeks ago I shared a story of one of the girls who went with me to get food and saw her father. This weekend I took her and the other girls to my house, as I am giving the kids special outings […]

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