Shar­ing the Balm of Love

Activated - - NEWS - BY DENNIS ED­WARDS DENNIS ED­WARDS IS A RE­TIRED TEACHER WHO WORKS WITH A POR­TUGUESE NGO IN­VOLVED IN SUP­PLY­ING ED­U­CA­TIONAL MA­TE­RI­ALS FOR POOR FAM­I­LIES AND CHIL­DREN IN IN­STI­TU­TIONS.

Some years back, at mid­night on March 17—Saint Pa­trick’s Day—I re­ceived a call from my 27-year-old son’s room­mate in Ber­muda. My boy was miss­ing, and his cloth­ing had been found on a nearby beach.

My first re­ac­tion was to get on my knees and cry out to God in prayer. As I did, I saw a pic­ture of my son en­ter­ing heaven to the joy of my par­ents and other loved ones who had al­ready passed on. I im­me­di­ately knew he would not be found alive. Sure enough, five days later, his body washed ashore.

What helped me through those dif­fi­cult days? What was the heal­ing balm? Of course, my re­la­tion­ship with God was my great­est source of com­fort, but another im­por­tant key to my heal­ing in a tan­gi­ble, phys­i­cal way was the love and en­cour­age­ment I re­ceived from oth­ers.

On my first day in Ber­muda, while ask­ing for di­rec­tions at a shop, I men­tioned to the girl work­ing there that I was the fa­ther of the young man who had re­cently drowned. “I’m so sorry,” she said ten­derly, and gave me a hug. On nu­mer­ous other oc­ca­sions, I re­ceived sim­i­lar en­cour­age­ment from strangers.

God prom­ises to com­fort us in our times of tribulation. Je­sus said He would send the Com­forter, the Holy Spirit, to us. He wants us to be com­forted. But if we keep our trou­bles locked in­side, if we keep the pain in, we won’t re­ceive the love and en­cour­age­ment we need, and our heal­ing process will be longer and per­haps never com­plete.

So don’t keep those emo­tions hid­den. Don’t suf­fer in si­lence. Share your hurt so that oth­ers around you can help heal it. God works this way to draw us closer to one another and to make us His arms and hands and lips and ears for one another.

When we re­ceive love and en­cour­age­ment in our hour of need, we are later able to re­turn that to other an­guished or suf­fer­ing souls who pass our way. “God is our mer­ci­ful Fa­ther and the source of all com­fort. He com­forts us in all our trou­bles so that we can com­fort oth­ers. When they are trou­bled, we will be able to give them the same com­fort God has given us.”

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