A longtime family friend died very unexpectedly last week in a house fire. Jan grew up with this gentleman. He was two years older than her. She had known him all of her life. I have known his entire family for almost 20 years. I watched his boys grow up. They are outstanding young men.
In the immediate aftermath of the fire, close friends gathered to support those men, as they coped with the harsh reality of sudden loss. During the course of several phone calls I became aware of gestures of kindness that were appropriate and even sacrificial. It was one of the most of the moments that my belief in the goodness of people was renewed!
But what stands out to me more than anything is a comment that was made in the midst of the immediate crisis. I am fully aware of the inane comments that people can make in the aftermath of a sudden death. Perhaps “stupid” is a harsh word, but it often fits… But the comment that stands out to me was by no means offensive.
The spouse of one of the boys was out of the state when all of this occurred. Plans were made to have her flown to DFW airport in Dallas. Who will make the 12 hour round trip to Dallas to pick up her up and bring her to the hometown of her husband? He was not in a position to leave at that point. A family friend that was present during this conversation said: “Do I get to go pick her up at the airport?”
Ifyou place the emphasis on the word “get”, you have some inkling of the attitude that was expressed.
He went. He picked her up. There were delays for various reasons. He took it all in stride. And he delivered her safely to be with her husband during a time of unspeakable grief.
A simple comment. But I am holding on to it… In fact, I have realized that my vocabulary is deficient. I don’t know when and how to use the word “get.” What do I “get” to do today? How will I “get” to serve someone in need? I am grateful that I “get” to know such remarkable people. I have known the man that made this comment for a number of years. But I choose not reveal his name or he might “get” to sew my lips shut permanently. He is an unassuming man that knows how to love.
“For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.” (Matt. 12:34)