2 Corinthians 1:3-4 All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is our merciful Father and the source of all comfort. 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.
The idea to “pay it forward” was all the rage a few years back, and it meant to extend the kindness one receives to others rather than just accept it or repay it. As I read the words of 2 Corinthians 1:3-4, I thought of when my youngest son, Malcolm, died, how I wished that someone who knew the pain firsthand would have explained how they endured each day.
This week, one of my fellow students expressed ongoing difficulties in dealing with the recent death of an adult child to Covid. I had missed this student in class, and I wondered if they had decided to quit the class, as I had been contemplating. But, no, funeral arrangements and travel and then grief had been the causes. I didn’t know if I should speak about Malcolm, not wanting to appear that I was stealing the spotlight, but I found that I couldn’t keep quiet.
As we walked together, I told them of Malcolm’s death, and that through God’s mercy and comfort towards me, I realized that I wasn’t alone as I was going through the fire of grief. God was walking through it with me, and that He would do the same for their them and their family. They spoke of taking it one day at a time, and I told them that, although it’s been 15 years since Malcolm died, I was still taking it one day at a time. I hope that gives them some measure of comfort.
We all suffer some hardships in this life, and I hope it will comfort you to know that we don’t walk through these hard times alone. Although there are moments when it seem as if the Lord God is silent and far away, He will not leave us or forsake us. As October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, as a survivor of intimate violence, I pray the comfort of God to every woman and man who has survived the inferno, and that we will help to fund safe spaces for those women and men who are still in the fire.
Let your comfort abide with us in ways that we can see and feel, so that we can know how to comfort others who experience the same pain, sorrow, and suffering. Give us courage to speak and a word to pass along that will give not just comfort, but give hope in these difficult times.
In Jesus’s Name,