Perhaps the most agonizing part of our worst moments of pain is not the event itself, but the feeling that we are alone in it.
On the day that I went into the backyard and found our beloved Cash, I screamed for Patrick. In between attempts at CPR, yelling as loud as I could muster and because of the distance from the back of our yard to our house and the competing traffic noise out front, he could not hear me.
And that was one of the worst things about that moment. It was this feeling of absolute helplessness and isolation because I KNEW that he could not hear me. I knew that help was not going to come and it was just me.
In hindsight, there is nothing he could have done, but something about being in that moment by myself made the pain of it so much worse.
And then something happened yesterday while I was sitting in my office at work. I wasn't thinking about last Sunday. I wasn't looking for comfort. I was just doing work stuff with the radio playing softly in the background and I heard these lyrics:
“There was another in the fire
Standing next to me”
It's talking about a story from the book of Daniel, the one we hear often as children, of the 3 Hebrew boys who were put into a furnace because they wouldn't bow to a false god, and right there in that furnace, an image of a fourth person is seen in the furnace with them.
And I knew. And the tears sprung fresh from a well of pain currently held in my heart and from a long history of walking with God through the worst moments of my life.
Of course, You were there.
You followed me out the back door that day.
You stood next to me as I held him and screamed for help that would not be found.
You knew his life would end that day.
You knew our hearts would break.
And I think it broke yours too because that's who I know You to be.
And I think you're a God who weeps and a good Father, who never leaves. One who never blinks, and who hurts when we hurt because that's what good fathers do.
Maybe you need to know that too about your past or current pain. There's another in the fire. You don't walk through any of it alone.
All the love from my heart to yours.