I didn’t know if I could do it. Yet again. Have another conversation with another grieving relative. The fourth in less than two weeks. Countless in the last couple years. The number of people who had lost loved ones due to various reasons over this pandemic is astounding. The number of times I have processed grief the same, while shutting off my own emotions on the topic.
I was hesitant to make the call. To check-in. To offer “condolences,” and all those words that are supposed to sound so pleasant and helpful but end up just sounding so flat. My heart was heavy, and I didn’t know how many more conversations I could have like this one. The phone interrupted my thoughts. Interrupted me as I dialed the number.
Yes, this is Ms. January. Sure, I have time to talk.
“She talks so much about you. She mentions Ms. January all the time, so I had to call to see if you could help.”
I didn’t get it. I hadn’t seen her in weeks. She had likely been avoiding me. Teens often do when adults hold them accountable, and I am the kind that well, holds them accountable.
This didn’t make sense to me.
Until it did.
In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see. Matthew 5:16
Christ. He lives in me. Once accepted, he made me new. He placed a spirit within me that meant I also possess a certain light-the light of His love. His mercy. His grace. Sometimes it doesn’t require I say anything. Or that when I do, I do so in love. Still holding accountable for choices that are not the best, but always with the purpose of moving someone to a place of growth. Never condemnation or shame.
I may never speak the name of Jesus in the places I walk into. In the office spaces I occupy. In the halls in which I walk.
But…I can be certain of this: They will encounter Him though my actions. My words. My love.
If they never see a church pew. If they never sing a hymn, they will at least have encountered Him. They will see His grace and His light through me.