October 4, 2016
Last week death snatched another child from another friend. This time a son. His mother watched him walk his hazardous path, said the right words, did what she could. She loved him dearly and gave him her best. But sometimes, this time, best is not enough.
We think (with self-made wisdom) that our best can ward off calamity. We blame ourselves when our best fails. If I’d said this, if I’d done that, I could have changed their path. If only… If only… I want my friend to know that such “ifs” are lies. We have no power to change anyone. Sometimes our best, our very best, falls on deaf ears. Yet when ears won’t hear, hearts still sense love. And she loved him well.
We also think that our best must have no flaws. We barrage ourselves with “oughts” (knowing all the time that perfection is well beyond our reach). Years ago I confessed to my own grown child that I’d given them my best, and my best was seriously flawed. They agreed. Yet somehow after that talk we grew closer. My hunger to give my best spoke love, and that love was enough. Enough to cover the many times we each fell short and missed the mark (1 Peter 4:8). Our best many not be enough, but love speaks louder than flaws. And this son’s mother loved him well.
Lord, protect my friend from the uselessness of “ifs” and “oughts.” Bring her memories of tender moments and shared laughter. Comfort her with your love. And give her the peace of knowing that she loved her son, and loved him well.
Memories and Mourning – When Our Best Is Not Enough
© Lynne Fox, 2016