A few weeks ago I had the opportunity to meet up with an old friend of mine. It was the first time I had seen her since I heard of her son's death. My eyes met hers and I felt that "empty tunnel" connecting us. She held her newborn baby as we talked. The baby was born only one day before her son died. I could go on about her story, but I need to talk about something else that happened that day. As the two of us talked, we understood each other. I heard her say things that I could hear myself saying almost 2 years ago. The more I listened, the more I wanted. It was as if I had been in a foreign land, and finally found someone I knew! As we talked, I connected myself to her pain. I wished I could spend more time with her.
After leaving her I began to realize what it cost me to connect to her in such a way. For the first time since Ashley died, I had experienced someone else's pain through my own. The two were connected. The weight pressed down on me so hard. The pain was immense. I was reliving my own sorrow through hers. It became heavier. I begged God "Why?" Why do mom's like us have to bear this kind of sorrow? I was angry! Nothing could help it. I got a message from a friend, who has a son in heaven. She had been there for me when it was my turn. She had come to me that first night, and I can remember when our eyes met, I felt that tunnel of emptiness between our eyes. I remembered. She entered my pain through her own. It was expensive, but she wanted to make the investment, no matter the cost.
Lately, I have watched other friends do the same thing. They uncover their own pain from deep down, as they invest in anther's hurt. It then takes a long period of healing, as they must work through their life's battles.
The great expense of investment is worth it. God comforts us in our trials so that we can comfort others in their trials....with the comfort that we have received from God! (2Corinthians 2:1) He intended for us to invest in one another's pain. He wants us to experience His comfort so that we can share it.
I was so thankful for the opportunity to invest. The cost was quite expensive, but I am not finished investing. I want to give more. How is it that I can spend so much, recover, and then go spend more? Am I crazy? No! I am blessed. No matter the cost. My friend who invested in me was not looking for a receipt for the amount she spent when she entered my pain. No, she went home, she cried for me and for herself, and she begged God "Why!" on our behalf. I realized the day that I met up with my friend, entered her grief through my own, came home and hurt deeply...that God had given me a gift. He showed me the receipt from my other friend, and I loved her for it! It gave me encouragement to keep investing!