The house is quiet now. The sound of Fox News or Asian dramas from the television is no longer flowing from the family room. The quietness reminds me that she is no longer here, and my sadness surfaces yet again.

We spent a lot of time together at home. She was retired, and I worked from home; she watched television and worked on crafts in the family room while I was on my computer in the next room. I was often distracted by the sound from the family room and tried to minimize the distraction by closing the door. Occasionally, she would pop into my converted office with a question or share a thought. I welcomed those face-to-face “interruptions.” Sometimes the topic seemed trivial, but it was a touchpoint, a connection, and staying connected was invaluable. Despite the distraction from the sound of the tv, it meant that she was here, that there was life in this house.

The quietness of the house is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, it is a painful reminder that she is no longer here; on the other hand, I can focus on the task at hand without distractions. I wish she were still here, but I regard the quietness as a gift from God to accomplish the things He has appointed me. Moving forward with the tasks at hand (and there are multiple) quells the sadness and fuels my joy to serve Him by ministering to others. Ministering can be through writing, counseling, training, or sharing over a meal or cup of coffee. Whatever the task, it is an outflow, and it is rewarding.

Your experience may be different from mine as everyone’s experience is unique and valid. However, the value of turning our attention outside of ourselves applies to all of us amid the sadness. Our lives have more significant meaning as we give others what little or much we have. It does not need to be something physical. A compassionate word or an unexpected act of kindness has more enduring value than anything material. In Acts 20:35, the Apostle Paul said, “We must help the weak and remember the words of the Lord Jesus, how he himself said, ‘It is more blessed to give than to receive” (ESV). It truly is.

Stop and Consider . . .

Next: Top 7 Life Lessons #4: Everyone will experience a crisis. An open heart to God restores hope. Move forward. 

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