When a Loved One Hurts

Watching a loved one's struggle can trigger worry and fear, but the Lord is ever-present, and His love brings light.

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Posted in , Nov 5, 2015

When a loved one hurts, remember the light of God shines everywhere.

It was a bike ride kind of day.

The October afternoon was beautiful–trees in the valley had gone red and gold. The sun was strong. The sky was crisp blue. We finished school early and peddled past century-old homes that stand along the river.

I was the caboose, watching my two youngest boys from behind, and I saw that eight-year-old Isaiah was distracted. He looked across the water, noticing the autumn color on the other side. Before I could shout, he steered toward the curb and crashed, sprawling on the ground.

I pulled up next to him and 10-year-old Gabriel doubled back. As we knelt beside him, Isaiah was big-boy tough. He shoved his pant leg up. There was a wide scrape–the skin rough. At first it was pale, but after a moment, blood bubbled to the surface.

He’d be fine. It was a surface wound, and his chin pushed out with determination. But as I watched him, his want-to-be-strong attitude made me think about how difficult it is to see a loved one hurt.

For some time now, I’ve been watching the struggle of someone dear. I’ve helped all I can. I’ll continue to seek the Lord’s guidance on how to intervene, but at the end of the day, I feel helpless. Helpless to make things better. Helpless because I’m a caregiver, and even if I care with all that I have, I can’t repair the hurt.

It’s soul-splintering.

When the ache for someone I love fills my own chest, it often brings worry and fear. But the Lord loves me, and He doesn’t abandon me here. The Spirit is our teacher. Our companion. And when holding this hurt brings shadows, the Spirit brings light to my darkness.

When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows Me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” (John 8:12, NIV)

When we walk with Jesus, we have the promise of His light–in this life and the next. For now, it penetrates the darkness of my fear. He tends to me with compassion and grace, and I’m reminded that the light of His love will shine in my life.

It will shine in the life of my loved one too.

His light brings hope to any circumstance.

Isaiah tugged the leg of his jeans down over his knee. I held his bike while he checked his elbows and adjusted his helmet. Soon the three of us moved along again. We were silent. There was only the click-clack of changing gears and a wind chime in the distance. As we made our way down the road, the sun warmed my shoulders, throwing gold hues as it pressed through the trees.

And it reminded me of the Lord’s ever-present light.

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