The sweet, white-haired man opened the door for me, forced a smile, then followed me to the reception desk, his head hanging. He murmured to the woman behind the counter and I heard her say, "It doesn't get any easier, does it?"
"No," he said with a sigh, dragging his body through the waiting room, spotting a woman he knew.
"How ya doing?" he asked, taking a seat next to her.
"Oh, I'm getting along. It's tough," she responded.
"It doesn't get any easier, does it?"
"No. It just gets worse."
They sat there shaking their down-turned heads, their eyes distant and sullen.
"I hear you moved?" he finally offered.
"Yeah. I couldn't stay there."
"Too many memories," he said, really to himself, "Everything reminds me of her, even stuff in the refrigerator."
"Yeah, too many memories," she repeated, "I find myself wanting to come home and tell him what happened in my day, who I ran into, what I saw . . . but I can't."
"I talk to the neighbors."
"But at some point you have to shut the door and be alone," she sighed.
"It doesn't get any easier . . . "
"I guess we can be thankful we had nearly 60 years with them."
She was called back to a room, but added as she walked away, "Good talking to you."
"Yeah. You too. Take care now."
I wanted to cry.
Life is full of it. Though I haven't lost my spouse, I've faced my share of losses throughout my lifetime, not only the death of loved ones, but dreams, hopes, relationships. The longer I live, the greater probability I have for more loss. It's inevitable. I'd be depressed about that except for one thing.
This life is not all there is.
I have hope and joy and real peace because I know WHO holds me and controls the universe.
That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.
2 Corinthians 4:16-18
God is using the pain and loss of today and redeeming it in a glorious way I may not see now. But I am promised it won't be wasted.
Are you dealing with loss today, friend? Don't despair. KNOW that God causes all things to work together for the good of those who love Him. KNOW that our present suffering is not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us. KNOW you are wholly and dearly loved, seen and heard, and cared for by Almighty God.
It may not get any easier, but it won't be for naught. We won't escape loss, but we can trust God to make it beautiful, to make US beautiful in the grieving, to make it matter.
That's the kind of hope I yearn for, the kind of promise I desperately cling to. How about you?
Do you want to know your pain is not wasted?