I learned something today that my Father did for my son. Another tender mercy.
A woman and her husband had moved into our neighborhood not long before Mitch went into heart failure. She heard that other families in my neighborhood were preparing meals for our family to offer some much needed relief. She didn't know the circumstances of our family and that little Mitch was sick and dying.
Because preparing meals for families in crisis is customary in my culture, she was no stranger to this form of service and quickly volunteered to bring dinner over one evening. Over the years she had discovered a kind of universal meal that every family seemed to enjoy. As she was making preparations for that same meal for our family, she had an impression to do something different. At first she ignored it. The more she ignored it, the stronger the impression came. Finally, the impression was so strong she could no longer deny it and knew what to make. Meatloaf.
Not knowing our family, she was nervous about how such a seemingly ordinary meal might be received. She knocked on our door and handed Natalie a variety of dishes that contained meatloaf and other things. We would have been grateful for a sleeve of crackers. Or just a hug.
What this good woman didn't know … couldn't know at the time … was meatloaf was one of Mitchell’s favorite dishes. Because his organs were beginning to fail, he wasn't eating much those days – but when he heard someone brought meatloaf over, he wanted to eat. Natalie lifted him up from his bed and carefully helped him to the kitchen table. Mitch ate like a king that night. Not only was it a treat for him, that same meal gave his beleaguered body much needed nourishment … nourishment that gave us a little more time with our son.
When this good woman shared her experience with members of our church today, my wife and I were in tears. We had no idea.
What a profound gift. My heart is overflowing with gratitude to think that a loving Father who knew Mitch was running out of time would inspire this good woman to do something that was out of the ordinary for her, so my son could find a little comfort.
If He did that for Mitch, sight unseen, I wonder what He is doing for all of us at this very moment. There is so much more to our lives than meets the eye.
Perhaps when we look back on our lives, from that place that feels so far away, the events we experienced through darkness will be made light as noon day. Then, and perhaps only then, it will finally be seen … the times we felt most alone, we in fact walked with heavenly beings.