I learn over and over again how important it is to tell the story.
This has been a season of many deaths in the life of our church. This morning I went to Bible study at restoration village and we talked about a member of our Christ Care Group, Roland, who passed away on Sunday. In our conversation people shared their experiences of him in the last days of his life. They were able to express what he meant to them and even what he taught them. It was so healing just to share in that way.
It was very similar to the experience of the Wednesday night Bible study two weeks ago when we shared our memories and stories about Jerry Miller who had died the day before. I learn over and over again the value of each person's life and experience of each other. And how good it is to talk about it. To tell the story of "me and Roland" and "me and Jerry."
Sunday I sat with two widows - Gerrie and Gail - as they told their stories of their lives with their husbands. It is for me, an honor and a great blessing to be the one who gets to ask the questions that elicit the sharing of memory.
And so, I write this and remember that that if we don't have someone to listen, often the stories just sit inside of us and can almost weigh us down. They need to be told and heard as they bring us to tears and laughter.
Our Bible study this morning was Isaiah 48: 12-21 which was titled "If only you had listened." It was about the fact that God continues to speak to us and we only need to listen. And I have to say about all of these people who are grieving mightily this week - they might also be saying in their own way - "If only you would listen." They have a story to tell about someone they loved. And they need someone to listen.
May we take time to listen.