the shadow of death…at Christmas

It’s probably one of the effects of this line of work.  We walk through some difficult places with people and I’m always trying to learn better how to REALLY help people through tough times I may not have walked through myself.

One of those tough times is losing loved ones close to you.  We’ve tried to drive at this in our teaching lately knowing that this season of year can be especially hard.  I’ve made a point to talk to — and listen to — some in our church who lost loved ones this past year.  For others, the loss is further in the past, but still close to the surface.

This week I’ve noticed I’ve been getting lots of expressions from these folks about their thankfulness for a church like suncrest.  You may not know it suncrest, but your simple interactions and help during these holidays means the world to them.  Here’s a sampling of what I’ve heard:

-I received this email from a dear lady who lost her husband…and some sense of her role in this world after caring for him so intensely:  ...I appreciate your asking me how I was feeling about the holidays.  As I told you this one is easier…What I didn’t tell you is how much volunteering at the church on Wednesday  and Friday mornings has helped me to adjust.    Just wanted you to know that my volunteering has helped me as much, if not more, than I’ve helped Suncrest.

-I received this email from a staff member yesterday:  I was speaking with (name withheld) this morning at church, and she tearfully expressed to me that she has tried several times to write down how thankful and appreciative she is of the Suncrest staff.  Since she has had trouble getting her heartfelt words to paper, she asked if I would be sure to let everyone know that, especially at this time, she feels very loved by us and does not know what she would do without all of our love and support.

-I sat down last week with a woman recently widowed.  Among other things, our Benevolence Fund was able to financially help their family at a time of need.  We wept together and prayed together.  It will be a challenging Christmas week for her family, but she is navigating it with faith, family, and a church family that she knows loves her.

In addition to “The Waiting Room” and some encouragement about how to look at our “yesterdays”, I thought this weekend’s messages about “loneliness” by Bobby (St. John Campus) and Doug (Hobart Campus)were right on.  Why not listen…or pass them on to someone who could use them?  Click here for a link to our messages online.

~ by Greg Lee on December 21, 2009.

One Response to “the shadow of death…at Christmas”

  1. I rejoice in this ministry that occurs organically/naturally through the community of faith know as Suncrest for the sake of the mosaic of people who are grieving losses each Christmas. I learned today of research that verified that more people die each year on Christmas Day in the United States than any other day. Dec 26 and New Year’s Day were #2 and #3. I am not the least bit surprised by this data, yet burdened and troubled by it given the amplified impact of such losses on such special days.

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