"Carry each other's burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ."
~ Galatians 6:2
Years ago a family from our community was involved in a serious automobile accident. Through a series of events, the car they were riding in crossed the center line and hit a coal truck head on. It was devastating. To make matters worse, one of the passengers was the family babysitter. A popular girl, who was a cheerleader, honor student, and absolutely beautiful in every way. Her family learned of her death through a news report on the radio.
It was a shock. There were no words to express what everyone was going through. I was like most of us and learned of the accident and deaths on the radio as well.
There was just something about the monotone of the news caster, "An Owen County family and their babysitter were...."
I don't know if you have ever encountered such news or a loss like this before?
Throughout our lives there are simply moments when consoling one another is simply impossible.
I have witnessed the responses to both good and bad news over the years. Good news is always easy.
It's when we must find the words to try to explain why something happened, or to express our grief, that sometimes silence is the only response.
Scripture does exactly this on more than one occasion. We are left with our own conclusions. When the Disciples finally regroup after witnessing Christ's death, there is silence.
While on the cross, Christ relinquishes his mother to another, and shares, "This is your son. This is your mother." And then silence.
The woman at the well is told to "go and sin no more." And silence.
Adam and Eve eat of the forbidden fruit and are cast from the perfect garden. And then there is silence.
Time tells the response. However, in that moment when there is overwhelming grief or circumstances, the silence that we embrace involves the overwhelming embrace by God.
I wish I could say that I knew the appropriate response or words to the times when words are stolen by the circumstance. But I don't. What I can hope is that in these moments, you find that the embrace of Christ is felt.
Stay in God's grip!
G. Todd Williams (c) 2020
Rev. G. Todd Williams lives in the Houston metro area and is a Hospice Chaplain and ordained Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) pastor.