Tuesday, May 13, 2008


photo: Carl in red, with Tommy and Teddy

“Cath, she’s here. You can give her the photograph now,” said my husband.

Standing in the back of a little church in a Yup’ik Eskimo village on the Bering Sea, I turn to see her.

Earlier in the week, we had stopped by her house to deliver the photograph, but she was in her steamhouse. So we had returned to our trailer, picture and chamomile lotion ungiven, and tension still beating in my heart…the tension of uncertainty and dread.

What does one say to a woman who has buried a child? A person never met, no less? Two women from two different worlds. Lord, how can this work? Regret fills my heart…I should have simply prayed for this woman and mailed her the photograph. This is too hard.

You’ve walked this road with your mother, whispered the Lord. You can do this, even though it is not easy. I will help you.

Crowds of people are leaving the little church, but as our eyes meet everyone else melts away. We stand…each on the other side of the chasm that exists between strangers. My heart begs God to give me the right words. Without hesitation, I reach across the divide to hug her. She hugs back, tentatively at first…than strong. And I begin to sob. She, too, begins crying and we stand like this for a long time. No introductions. No words at all. Simply two mothers mourning the loss of a son.

The great bridge builder has built a bridge suspended with our tears. And we have run across it into each other’s arms. Daughters of the King. We are sisters, she and I.

Today, the anniversary of Carl's homecoming, we are grateful for the bridge that is Christ... for we know that Carl's family, Your entire family Lord, will be reunited some day. And we each, at our appointed time, will run with joy across the last bridge, suspended not by our tears but by your precious Son.

Don’t worry about how to respond or what to say. God will give you the right words at the right time. (Matthew 10:19) Thank you Father for Carl. For Kathy. For hard things that make us run to you.

1 comment:

patty said...

of course, i wsn't following you way back then. i don't know what drew me to this post... it was at the bottom of today's post. i liked the image. i was intrigued by the title. amazing post. of course, it resonates w me. i'm sorry to her. and you, my friend, are amazing.

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