Growing up, I couldn't quite understand why Mom and Dad would put on their Sunday attire and walk out our door just to walk past a coffin holding the empty body of someone who had so obviously moved on to things of an eternal nature. Plus, they were old. Old people are grandmas and grandpas and they're supposed to die..and their kids won't be sad, cuz they're old, too. They should be expecting the death, and therefore, not even be sad or cry. And then my mom and dad could stay home with me, where they belonged, while we watched, "Chitty Chitty Bang Bang." Because that's where moms and dads should be...with their children.
And then my husband's mother died, followed by his father ten short weeks later. And guess what? I was right~that is where moms and dads belong~with their children. Who knew? Those dear folks braving the cold wintry air and missing Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, that's who.
Suddenly~it mattered that my husband's boyhood primary teacher stood in line for over an hour, just to give him a hug and pat his sad, whiskery face.
It mattered that a loved neighbor left a pan of homemade rolls in his parents' kitchen~though it was a little bit hard to chew and swallow past the lump in our throats.
It mattered that our brand new neighbors, who barely even knew our names, would travel the distance and take a day off work, if only to clasp us in their arms and tell us they felt our grief and shared it with us.
And we wept.
And we embraced.
And we were thankful.
It seems our Heavenly Father invites us to be His hands on this earth~even missing Chitty Chitty Bang Bang in the process~as He understands that we may only become as magnificent as He wants us to be, if we serve in His name.
And that means we don our pretty dresses, make that batch of bread and stand in line for an hour...to comfort those who stand in need of comfort...to bear one another's burdens...to be His hands...
...and to hold theirs.