"I am the Parent to the orphan, and tbe One who will watch over the widow."
~ Psalm 68:5
We live less than ten miles from the NASA Johnson Space Center, and have several friends that work for the space program, including those who are astronauts.
I am still one of "those kids" from the 1960's who grew up watching a man take his first step on the face of the moon, and still dreams of the day when someone from earth will step onto another planet.
Like many of us, we rememeber the successes, as well as, the times when lives have been lost while reaching for the heavens.
I had the honor of meeting Laura Husband, the daughter of Rick Husband, Commander of the Columbia Space Shuttle a few years ago. She shared with me about the day that the Columbia failed to return. As she and her family, and the families of the crew members stood and watched for the shuttle to appear, the clock had reached zero, and all became very silent. The families didn't know what everyone already knew. The shuttle had exploded.
Over the previous year, Laura's father had introduced her to his love for the Bible. The two had spent many hours reading and talking about the Bible and God's promises for each of us.
She said that the first words that came to her as she learned of her father's death were, "I am the God to the fatherless."
It doesn't matter what your age. The loss of a parent can be difficult.
The experience of loss creates a tapestry that is worn from knees that have fallen to the ground, and stained by salty tears that have come from deep places within.
We are God's most precious gift for one another when we have experienced loss.
Sometimes that most precious gift is simply our presence. Even when that is all we have to offer.
So often we miss the importance of being present, until the invite is so incredible that the Holy captures us and we surrender to the sacred.
God never abandons, and that is why we are found In God's grip!
G. Todd Williams (c) 2017
Rev. G. Todd Williams lives in the Houston metro area and is a Hospice Chaplain and ordained Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) pastor.