Stories on the edge of familiarity

World Tour, Day 12: A Prayer for a Mother Who Has Lost Her Son

I’m interrupting the regular flow of this blog today, because I found out last night that a guy I went to youth group with when I was 13-14 died this past week.

He and I tended to argue more than we got along, and never really saw eye to eye, but I did respect him. And even before I respected him, I wanted good things for his life. He had so much to offer – he was smart, passionate, and driven when he trusted himself to succeed. We had our friction, but he was someone worth knowing and I have never forgotten him. I never will.

His mother led the youth group at that time and we’re still connected on Facebook. It was through her post I found out what happened.

This morning, I wrote this for her:

A prayer for a mother who has lost her son

I can’t even begin to imagine the grief you feel
It will be a long road
With an uncertain end
(If it ever ends – I hear it tends not to the way we tell ourselves it will)
But this, I know:
One day, you will smile again
And it won’t be a betrayal
An insensitivity
A wrong to your son
A sin
Because even though the world has fallen to pieces
And you are surrounded by twisted steel girders and the concrete dust
Of all the places and ways your son was alive
You are in the shadow of God’s wings
And he is holding you
And he is weeping, too, for he once lost a son
And when you cannot stand, he holds you to him
He bears you up
And he says
“Let me be your strength
You don’t have to be strong, only wise
And the wise know when to weep
Because they know that when they turn to me
I will heal them
As I weep with them
Until they are able to laugh again.
That day will come, so
Walk near me through this valley of death
For I have the tools to keep from you
All that would seek to destroy you now
And I use them all for you
So that you can be safe when the world has become dangerous.
Cling to me
I will keep you safe
As you grieve.”
I pray, dear daughter of the King,
That he fills you to overflowing with the fruit of His Spirit
That he fills your life with it
That he feeds you now
That you will not go hungry
That you will be satisfied in His love
That you will find peace.
I pray this in the name of Christ Jesus, our Lord and the one who conquered death
And who loves your son with all His heart
Amen.

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