Sometimes life is just not pretty. Sometimes it's not happy or lovely or comfortable. Sometimes it seems pretty depressing - as if there's just no hope of anything getting better. We know the end of the story, of course - everyone who knows Jesus gets a happy ending. When that happy ending isn't in sight, though, sometimes it's difficult to remember.
We recently lost someone in my extended family, and it was very sad. The circumstances were awful, and it's hard to know how to reconcile that.
While that person is gone, I want to do something for the family he left behind - but from 450 miles away, in this sort of situation, what do you do?
Baking something or sending flowers are great options normally. They will at least let someone in need know that someone cares and perhaps even meet a physical need temporarily.
I'm too far away to do those things very easily, though.
This has been going around and around in my head for several days now, and I keep coming back to the story of Job.
When Job seemingly lost everything - his wealth, his family, his possessions, his reputation, even the support of his wife - only one friend stood by him. While they eventually talked a bit, for the most part, faithful Elihu just sat there.
He didn't bake anything or bring anything or offer frustrating platitudes. He was just there. He offered his presence.
Again, I can't very easily span the 450 miles home, but I know Someone who can. Rather than be the last thing we should do when we're full of excitement or sorrow, it should be the first.
We can pray.
And so I've been praying for this family, and as I've been doing so, another has popped into my radar.
An author whose books I've read is sick. She has ovarian cancer.
While she hasn't tried to hide it, I've felt guilty as I've noticed people talking about it around the web and it's caught my attention. I'm not sure I'd want to be the subject of chatter for this reason, and yet she's apparently okay with it - and I've realized that they're not gossiping, but asking for prayer.
Now it's become more urgent.
The doctors can do nothing else, and so DiAnn Hunt's time on earth is limited. She remains faithful and full of praise, even in this season, but for her, there is something else we can do.
We can, of course, pray for her and her family - but her friends are also passing along cards on her behalf.
If you'd like to send a card, author Kim Vogel Sawyer will see that she gets them. Just write 'DiAnn Hunt' on the outside of the envelope.
Kim Vogel Sawyer Ministries
P.O. Box 304
Kingman, KS 67068
I think our family will be making cards this afternoon. Who do you know who might benefit from one?