A few weeks ago friends of ours, a young couple with two small boys, lost their home. Not to bankruptcy or anything financial, but to a bolt of lightning. It hit the deck on the back of the house and the entire place was gone in 15 minutes. There was NOTHING left.
Thankfully no one was hurt. Ashley and her sons had just barely left to run an errand when the freak storm drifted quickly overhead and turned their lives upside down. By the time the fire trucks got there ten minutes after the neighbor saw it happen, the house was mostly gone. There was nothing they could do. The fire burned mega fast fueled by hot canyon winds. The firemen were amazed.
I’ve never known anyone who lost their house before. I can’t even begin to imagine what that loss must feel like. Especially since I’m a sentimental old fool. It’s been on my mind a lot. But yesterday in our Sunday School class a comment from a video we were watching about a young man who was helping orphans in Cambodia gave me an even deeper perspective on loss.
Having no one is worse than having nothing. (Andy Steiger)
To be honest that comment left me reeling. I’m one of those folks who keeps her pity-party closet stocked with all kinds of party supplies. I OFTEN find myself in a place where I feel, for example, like I raised my family all alone while Drollery went off and played school for 18 years. It was difficult, and at times I just wanted to throw in the towel, go to bed, and cover up my head till the kids were grown.
The feelings were intense, and I still struggle with that feeling of being all alone from time to time. I’m guessing some of you may know what it feels like to be in a marriage “all by yourself.” Drollery and I have those times, too.
But Steiger’s comment made me realize just how lucky I am despite having those bouts of loneliness. Lucky because no matter how often I drag all those noise makers and hats out of that closet, I KNOW in my heart it’s a passing season, and no matter how lonely and even abandoned I feel, I have an awful lot of someones in my life. It’s safe to say I came away from that class with a bit of an attitude adjustment.
I’m happy to say that Ashley and Thaddeus are rebuilding. Their families and community have gathered round them in an amazing way. No, they won’t be able to replace all they lost, but they did learn one thing, according to Ashley’s dad Robert (a long-time friend of ours). They learned they weren’t alone.
It’s the 4th of July, and I know there are people out there who have lost loved ones in the military and are still grieving. If you know anyone like that, reach out to them today and give them a part of yourself so they’ll know they’re not alone. And that goes for anyone you know who has lost a loved one and is still struggling to come to terms with the feelings.
Connection is the life blood of our existence. It’s what keeps our hearts pumping even in the hardest of times. “We All Need Someone” is the anthem we need to learn to sing to keep this country and this world moving in the right direction.