There are things mommies aren’t ever supposed to find.
They aren’t supposed to find themselves in a firehouse frantically looking for their child. They aren’t supposed to find their child’s name on a list of those who won’t be coming home. They aren’t supposed to find a dress to wear to their child’s funeral.
They aren’t supposed to turn their calendar and find a date circled for the birthday party they were supposed to be planning next month. The one that won’t be.
Or walk to the mailbox and find their child’s dentist appointment reminder card. The receptionist forgot to pull that one out.
Or find a book they know their child would love. Only half way to the check out counter they remember, they’re gone.
They aren’t supposed to find these things.
They aren’t supposed to find that grieving for a child is like navigating a path with chasms so wide their continued steps seem impossible. Terrifying. Hopeless.
I know these chasms. I watched my mom stare at them. I saw her wish she could fall in them and never have to take another painful step. I wept over everything she found reminding her my sister was gone.
That’s how I know what God would have me pray right now. For the families of the loved ones that lost so much last Friday. But especially for the mommies.
The mommies that even right now are finding things no mommy should have to find.
I want my prayers to slip into those chasms and somehow fill them. I am asking God to show me. Make me aware of the specific things those mommies might find in the months to come. When the black dresses are hanging in the closets. The media has packed up and gone home. The cards stop coming. The neighbors are back to normal.
And in the quietness of her own grief that mommy finds something. Something that breaks her heart all over again. And in that space of pure grief, she feels horrifically alone.
Please Lord, let my prayers go there. Prick my heart to fill that chasm with layers of prayers from my mommy heart. Let me take the deep grief of that moment so she doesn’t have to be so alone.
Though she won’t see me or hear my prayers, may she feel an unexplainable sense of Your presence. And know. You.
That’s what I pray she does find. You. With her. Comfort. Peace. Healing. Hope.
Oh God, show us how to pray.
“Know that wisdom is such to your soul; if you find it, there will be a future, and your hope will not be cut off,” Proverbs 24:14.