I had my friend’s daughter over today. Six days after her mama’s death.
And my friend, who is with Jesus now, still managed to teach me something.
This time I heard her voice not with the same usual confident, yet kind, voice. This time it was a younger voice. Her daughter’s voice. And in that voice, she taught me how to cut brownies.
I was trying to cut warm, chocolate brownies for a young girl’s get together and the knife was not cutting but smooshing the brownies with deep ridges that turned each brownie from a tasty morsel of a sweet square shaped treat to a jagged piece of chocolate dough.
The voice quietly came.
With confidence, yet humility.
With sweet humor and help.
Just like her mother…
“You should use a plastic knife. My mom always used a plastic knife when she cut brownies. She said it cut better and I always asked her why she kept washing a plastic knife, but she always kept it.”
I looked at her. A deep sadness in the depths of her eyes, so deep in the souls of her spirit that you could barely see it, yet also showing so clearly on the face of the child who loved…loves… her mama so.
I went to the drawer because in God’s crazy yet ever present provision, I had just gotten take out with a plastic knife included a few days before.
So I grabbed the knife and proceeded to cut…to really cut the brownies into beautiful sweet squares with crisp chewy edges.
I imagined her cutting them with me, telling stories of the latest crazy thing she did with the junior high kids that weekend.
I laughed then because I can hear my friend still. Teaching me like she did when she was here. Teaching me to be a better mom, a better friend, and a better lover of Jesus. I hear her still.
Mary DeMuth writes in her book, Authentic Parenting in a Postmodern Culture, that “Community shapes our souls. The people around us sharpen our hearts, sand off our rough edges, and love us when we are unlovely.”
That is what my friend did for me and so many others. And through her daughter, she still will.
There will be people that we lose in this life way before we are ready. Are we really ever ready at all? A child taken minutes after his first snuggle with his mother. A brother fighting AIDS. A mom with a daughter still needing a mom to teach her about life.
God blesses those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
These are all reasons that we need to be comforted. And Jesus does not promise to take away the pain, but promises to comfort us so that we may rest in His Mighty Plan. And He will comfort you. A card, a word spoken, a squeeze of a hand. Look for the simple ways that He comforts you.
For me, I found it in the voice of a child:
In the voice of her daughter as she taught me how to cut brownies.
What ways do you need comfort?