LOVE LIVES ON

Simple Grace - - You’re Never Alone -

“I never thought I’d drift from prayer, but when my fa­ther passed away a few months ago, a wall went up be­tween me and God. My dad was 88 and had led a full life, but af­ter I lost him, pain took up res­i­dence in my heart. I begged the Lord for re­lief from my grief, even a sign that my dad was okay… any­thing at all that would bring me some sem­blance of com­fort. But I just kept hurt­ing.

“One morn­ing, I felt com­pelled to go to my fa­ther’s grave site. As I set­tled into the cool grass and ran my fin­gers across the en­graved let­ters on the mar­ble marker, my loss seemed un­bear­able. How I missed his kind blue eyes, his big bear hugs, his silly har­mon­ica. I thought long­ingly of the days when we’d sit on the porch and he would play songs on that lit­tle thing un­til well af­ter sun­down. Tears burned my eyes. Was a stone with a name carved in it all that was left of some­one I loved?

“Al­though it was a calm sunny day, sud­denly a strong wind kicked up and chilled my skin. Then I heard it…strains of har­mon­ica play­ing ‘Amaz­ing Grace’ in the dis­tance—Dad’s fa­vorite song and the last tune he played on his har­mon­ica at church. I looked all around, but I was the only per­son there.

“As quickly as it be­gan, the mu­sic faded and the wind died down, and I felt the heavy weight of grief fi­nally lift. God had shown me that love never re­ally leaves us, and by lov­ing, my fa­ther is still closer than a song in my own heart.” —Amanda Richmond, 46, Elmira, NY

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