lady: "so how are you doing?"
guy: "oh you know."
lady: " how is your wife doing?"
guy: "not very well. and I think it's only going to get harder as the due date approaches next week."
My heart skips a beat at the conversation I'm overhearing from the two people walking to the cafeteria ahead of me. Who is this guy? Does his wife work here too? They obviously just lost a baby. And as the conversation goes on I have to talk myself down from interrupting. What are the chances that week 2 on the job in a brand new place with a bunch of people I don't know that I overhear a story about someone dealing with a recent loss?
And as the days go by, I pass this guy in the office constantly but have no idea what his name is or how I could possibly connect with him.
"Uh, excuse me sir. I know I'm a total stranger but I overheard you talking with your friend. I'm so sorry that you lost your baby."
He would think I was crazy! So every time I saw him, I prayed for him and his wife. Hoping and asking God to somehow make our paths cross so that I could reach out to him.
And then last week I get a text from the friend who got me the job. "Hey, Beck. I wanted to let you know that I ran into one of the trainers at work today after not seeing him for a few months. And I found out that he and his wife just lost a baby. Would you pray for him?"
Well. I'm pretty sure I scared the tar out of the pups who were sleeping soundly at my feet when I shrieked and frantically called my friend.
"I've been trying to find out who this guy is for weeks!!"
And after a few moments chatting with her, I learned that he and his wife had just lot a full term baby boy a few weeks before. My heart broke and I asked her if she thought that it would be appropriate to offer him a box for his wife.
We decided that would be okay and I tried unsuccessfully for a couple of days to nonchalantly cross his path in his training room when he didn't have a class. Finally yesterday, I left the box for my friend and asked her if she would be comfortable offering it to him if she saw him and it looked like an opportune time. She agreed. And this morning I was met with a text as I was getting ready for the day.
"Michael would like to meet you and get an opportunity to thank you. He was very touched. And the baby's name is J*****."
And so today I had the opportunity to meet and talk with a man, a husband, deeply concerned for his wife. I listened as he told me of their infertility journey to conceive their baby boy and the hurt in his eyes was evident as he tried to describe just how lost he was in trying to support his broken and grieving wife. I was deeply moved by his desire to love his wife in her darkest hour, even if it meant going to support groups together, something that was clearly out of his comfort zone. I listened as he opened up about how he doesn't know what she needs and yet he comes home every day, asks her if she took her daily walk, asks her how she's feeling, and then just lets her talk. And as he tried to explain his wife's grief-stricken state, I wished that I could somehow have met her and given her a hug. Broken mom heart to broken mom heart. And he thanked me for the box and I could tell that he was affected by the idea that someone else might care about his wife, their baby, and this devastating loss that was rocking their world.
I don't know if or when he will choose to give her the box. It's not always the best thing for a hurting mom. And sometimes, she just needs more time. Time to get from the angry place to the hurting place to the healing place. But as I rode home today with a friend (I was met with a dead battery when I went to leave for work today and had to hitch a ride home -- oh and did I mention I dropped my dinner on the floor face down tonight too?!) and we talked about the sanctity and miracle of life, and of the joy and blessing that comes from ministering to others out of our own hurt (it was an intense 20 minutes!), I was reminded of the very reasons why the Lord allows these painful experiences in our lives.
2 Corinthians: 3 All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. 4 He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When they are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us.
And I'll be honest. This is an emotional week for me. This week holds a significant anniversary date, Mother's Day, and the impending delivery of the miracle baby for my very closest friend. And quite frankly, I feel like I've been run over by an emotional MAC truck...that was thrown into reverse, drive, reverse, and then drive one more time, just for good measure. I'm tired. And I'm hurting. And I've had to resort back to the "one day at a time" mentality for the time being. Because thinking about tomorrow or how Thursday will feel, or Sunday, or meeting Charlotte for the first time (how I have WAITED and PRAYED for her!!!!), is just too overwhelming. And if I try to start thinking about these things now, I may just quit altogether.
And so tonight as I consider all of these things and wonder why God continues to lead me through (what feels like) this never ending valley of uncertainty and heartache, I think about Michael and his wife and their beautiful boy. And I think to myself-- This is why. And I think about the box with the blue flower that I was privileged to give them, as a tool to let them know that someone else cares about them, hurts with them, and misses their baby boy with them. And in this moment I can actually see just the teeniest, tiniest sliver of the tapestry that is being woven from the tears and heartache of those of us who are comforted by our Savior and long to share that comfort with others. And although I'd be lying if I said that I don't pray for mercy, for this part of the pain to end soon, I can truthfully say that I am honored and genuinely thankful to be a part of it.