Today Sam is sitting on the sofa. He's been to Sunday School. First week without his friend. I sit next to him. Run my fingers through his wild blond hair. Pull him to my shoulder. Sam has a deep heart. And it's tough when that deep heart's full of sad.
"I miss William," he says.
"I know," I say. And I do. I've seen this with my older boys. Over and over. Friends have moved to Texas. Iowa. Missouri. Michigan. And Will and his family are in Colorado now.
"Does it get better, Mom?" he asks.
I tell him that it does. That it takes some time. I tell him that I understand his loss. I miss our friends, too. Iron-sharpens-iron for Lonny and me. Role models to our kids, too. This family - they brought something precious to our lives.
Sam looks at me and smiles. But the smile is weak. His pain breaks over my own heart.
What can I do when the sweet art of mothering hurts?
How do I help him when there's not an easy way out? When there's no way to bypass the loss? When there's only pushing straight through?
I don't know.
So I sit and hold my boy and allow him the feelings that will need to run free. And I whisper to the Lord. A plea for mercy and grace.
And He is faithful.
His Word comes clear. Sweet direction for our hearts.
Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Deuteronomy 6:6-7
What can I do? Guide my son to love the Lord. Impress God's character on his heart. Teach him to seek the Lord's goodness. Not only in His commands, but in his kind mercy and grace.
On this day, I have the blessing of teaching my son. I can teach of the Lord's faithfulness. I can remind him of God's promise to never leave. He's near to the brokenhearted. He blesses the humble. He binds our wounds. Our Lord is a father of compassion and mercy. And all good gifts come from Him. I can teach Sam, too, of the privilege of prayer. That because of the blood of Jesus, he can go straight to the Lord. That he can carry Will's burden and lift him, too.
Teaching - all through the day.
Even a tough day.
I hold Sam for a bit and then the bustle of the house comes close. I kiss Sam on the top of the head and thank God for the blessing.
For His coming close.
What do I do? When the sweet art of mothering hurts?
I turn to Him.
And I teach my son, my young man, to stretch and turn and know Him, too.