You never know who might be sitting next to you. You never know what they might have experienced. As I dined in a restaurant, I happened to engage in cordial conversation with the couple sitting next to me. After we exchanged a few pleasantries, the husband couldn’t hold in what was dominating his mind, heart and soul. He said, “Our son was murdered three weeks ago.”
Murdered?! I didn’t expect that. It was a shooting, he said. Their son was with three girls in a car and someone fired at them. Everyone escaped injury except their son. Tears flowed down the face of the mother. She didn’t speak. Her sunglasses covered her saddened eyes. Her silence hid her broken heart. The father talked about how their son was getting back on track. The young man in his twenties was finding his niche. And now he was gone.
I offered the best words of consolation I could. I prayed with them. We couldn’t have a deep discussion. They had to go. I didn’t know if I would ever see them again. But I remembered I had a lifeline in my backpack. I had just done a radio interview for my new book, “Hope When Your Heart Breaks” and had a copy of the book with me. I said to this dear couple, “May I give you a gift?” I stretched out my hand to give them the book and told them that it had lots of little chapters that may be just what they need as they travel through their grief and pain. The mother received the book eagerly and began to scan the table of contents.
Then we parted. They carried the weight of a murder out of that restaurant. But they also carried a lifeline that would connect them to Jesus, the victor over death and pain.
Sometimes we don’t have words, but we can give a gift. Sometimes a few moments won’t heal, but a lifeline will bring enduring help.