I love getting comments on my blog posts. I jokingly wrote on the comment box that it "eases my loneliness", but in a way that's not a joke. When someone comments, it's a gift to me. It takes time and thought and effort. Some comments are short and encouraging, others are long, thoughtful responses to the topic. However they come, I feel the love and they do help ease my lonely journey through grief. (By the way, no guilt trip for those who just read and run. I do the same thing with most of the blogs that I read.)
Yesterday Josh Spencer commented on a post I'd written about Joey. He and Joey became friends years ago on Maui, and then better friends when they shared first a house and then a loft for several years in L.A. Joey was with Josh on Maui when Josh had the life-shattering moped accident that put him in a wheel-chair. And Joey lived with Josh during some of his most difficult years of adjustment, as he learned how to survive in L.A., start his own business and create a totally new life for himself.
So when Josh commented on my post, his comment grabbed me. I've been rolling it around in my mind ever since. He reassured me about a couple of things--that grief takes time, and that it's okay for me to use my blog as therapy to process my grief. Then he said, about God:
"He knows how to write His grace into the darkest of stories."
Those words just pierced my heart. They pierced it so much that I started sobbing-- out loud. I guess his words just struck a big ugly vein of fear and doubt...and memories...and behind all that, my own longing for God to write His grace in our dark story. I know when Josh says it, it's not just obligatory encouragement. He's a man of few words, and when he speaks, I listen. There are no words of comfort like the words that come from someone who has been to the edge of hell and back. Josh's words are authenticated by his own loss and struggles, which I was close enough to witness. Those hope-filled words, only a dozen of them, linked together to form a simple confident statement, struck a blow at my hopelessness. They couldn't have been more persuasive. They spoke new hope into my heart and I'm hanging on to them. Thanks so much, Josh.
And now something for you, Josh. After Joey passed, we found 2 rolls of film among his things, which he had never developed. When we developed them we found that they were mostly filled with pictures of the landmarks of Paris, from the trip he took in January of 2004. The only faces on the film were these of you and Hoats McBoats. Pretty good, huh. I like the expressions on your face as you look back at Joe photographing you...the reluctance, yet almost a laugh. Do you recall the moments they were taken? They warmed my heart and reminded me of the parrying that went on between you two... and the shared entertainment you got from that imperialistic dog! Funny memories...I miss those times but I'm glad we had them.
Proverbs 15: 23
A man hath joy by the answer of his mouth: and a word spoken in due season, how good is it!