Just a reminder that today is the last day to enter the giveaway for a copy of Carol Kent’s new book Unquenchable. Hop over to this post to enter.
Today I’m honored to share a guest post from my friend and author, Susie Finkbeiner. She shares today about the ordinary, yet beautiful ways we can offer comfort and mercy to those who are hurting. Susie’s newest novel, My Mother’s Chamomile, just released. At the end of this post, be sure to enter to win a copy of this beautiful book. You will love Susie, and her writing!
My Grandma Relf died in the middle of February my sophomore year in college. Close is a weak word to describe our relationship. In fact, I regularly prayed that Jesus would return before she died.
I didn’t think I could live without her.
When she died, I mourned deeply. I clearly recall sitting on my bed, staring at my Bible, completely unable to read the words.
At her funeral, a few of her friends from the retirement home where she lived hugged me, offered condolences. My favorite professor sat on one of the wooden folding chairs. A preacher I respected offered words of comfort.
That night, back in the dormitory, I got the call that my Grandma Riggs had died.
I felt wrung out. Exhausted. Raw.
I told me friend Nikki. Without hesitating, she grabbed hold of me. Hugging me for as long as I needed. Another friend ran to the store to get some ice cream. One grabbed a roll of toilet paper to dry my tears (we were college students, we could afford ice cream, but not tissues).
No one gave me a bundle of cash to make the sadness go away. I wasn’t swept away on a grand vacation to help me get over the grief. In fact, no one tried to take my mourning from me.
Instead, the people who loved me did what they could to offer comfort. And they offered out of what they had. Arms to hug. Time to be around. Whispers of encouragement.
They gave out of their ordinary.
How often have you been faced with the sorrow of someone you loved and thought, “I have nothing to give. I can’t help them”?
I’ve been there so many times.
In my novel My Mother’s Chamomile, I write about a family who is suffering. One afternoon, a local farmer comes by their house, asking if they wouldn’t mind if he mowed their lawn. He says that it wouldn’t take any time on his rider mower. Another friend pays for cleaning service. Others bring casseroles send cookies.
They do what they can to help ease pain.
What about us?
Can you make a meal? Order a pizza to be delivered to their house? How about offering to scrub a sink or mop a floor? A night of babysitting or a vase full of favorite flowers?
Can you write? Send a letter. Can you make a mean pot of coffee? Go on over with your beans and a jug of cream. Enjoy lawn work or shoveling? Well, get your gardening gloves out!
So often in my life, I’ve felt there was nothing I could do to take away the suffering of others. And I was right.
But I can ease that pain. And I can do it with the tools I have. The abilities God has given me.
Love your ordinary.
Love the ordinary ways you can pour out mercy on those around you.
And, when it’s time for you to receive comfort, love the ordinary of those who love on you.
Enter below for a chance to win a copy of Susie’s new novel. I will draw the winner next Monday, March 3!
Susie Finkbeiner is a novelist and short story writer from West Michigan. Her first novel “Paint Chips” released in 2013 with WhiteFire Publishing. In 2014, her second novel “My Mother’s Chamomile” releases with the same publisher. She is currently working on her third novel.
Susie is a wife, mother of three, and avid reader. She enjoys time with her family, coffee dates with her good friends, and quiet moments to read and write.
Visit her at www.susiefinkbeiner.com or follow her on twitter at @SusieFinkbeiner