You, of all people, know your loved one is in a better place. You just don’t want to hear about it. Not at the moment. What you really want to do is to find a safe place to hide ... like you did as a child ... under the stairs ... or into the keyhole in Daddy’s desk. A place where you can just crawl into a ball and weep.
Very often the first thing that gives you hope in times of sorrow is a Godwink. A little sign from God, directly to you, so extraordinary that you’ll know it could only have come from Him. A person-to-person call saying, “I know you are hurting, I know your pain. Come into my arms, and I will comfort you.”
Our friend John Campbell was feeling that desolation. His dear wife Marsha, with whom he had spent 39 happy years in matrimony, had, in a matter of weeks, gone from diagnosis to—just gone.
He recalls how he sat next to her bed, holding her hand, stroking her forehead, putting things in order.
“The music I would like played at my service,” said Marsha, “is ‘On Eagle’s Wings.’ ”
As per her wish, it was done a few weeks later at the funeral.
John says he’d heard that two of the most stressful things in life are the loss of a loved one and moving. It turned out that he had to face both of these stressors in the same week.
“You can just imagine,” says John, “my nerves were stretched to the breaking point. Then, as I picked up a box I had just packed, it tore, and all the contents spilled onto the floor. My emotions fractured. I burst out with words of anger and quickly left the house.”
John walked into the field next to the house, shielding his feelings from his two sisters, who had kindly come down to Florida to help him through the awful transition. But, he could no longer hold back a torrent of tears that were backed up and fueled by an emerging fear about facing the future alone, without his dear helpmate.
“Marsha, honey, I need your help,” he cried out. “I need to know you’re OK … and that everything’s going to be all right.”
John’s mind raced to the song — her song — “On Eagle’s Wings.”
“Honey, show me an eagle,” he shouted urgently into the sky. “I need to see an eagle.”
At that moment, a voice within John’s head commanded: Turn around.
Coming over the roof of the house were TWO eagles … a male and a female!
He called to his sisters to ask if they had just seen what he’d seen. They said they did. Two eagles circling overhead, and then flying off!
With that extraordinary Godwink John was delivered a peace, that his sweet Marsha was OK. That she was in Heaven. Though, in a way, still with him too.
“I feel her love and comfort,” says John, “but I sure miss her hugs.”
How our hearts broke for our friend John. Few would wish to trade their loss for his.
Yet, your heart may be breaking today too. Perhaps you wonder how you can possibly go on without that dear person in your life. Do you dread getting out of bed every day, knowing you’re going to have to revisit tender memories that are so painful?
Life does not prepare us well for the loss of a loved one. There’s no school to teach us. It’s a lonely journey we basically have to traverse on our own, without the help of other people. We can’t hire someone to do the job. We’re stuck. We have to carry the load ourselves.
Yet experience demonstrates that the one thing each of us can do, to pull ourselves up from the grief, is to simply reach up and grasp the outstretched hand of God. It’s there. Even if you can’t see it. It’s there. It will take faith, but when you lift up your hand, He’ll hold it.
He will cover you with His feathers, and under His wings you will find refuge; His faithfulness will be your shield.
Psalm 91:4 (NIV)
“Never again will I doubt the power of our Creator and the power of love,” says John Campbell.