Unexpected Ministry Opportunities
It is a privilege to work for the One who orchestrates ministry opportunities. About a month ago, we were both saddened and troubled why the Lord allowed Brianna’s dog to suffer a few days longer, before breathing her last. Well, we just might have received our answer this past Friday.
Mary received a phone call early on October 2 from the veterinary hospital. The lady on the phone told us that a fellow employee had lost her 19 year old daughter in a fatal car crash the day before and thought it might be good if we could connect with her. Mary agreed and called her, leaving a message. Later that morning, the mother called back. This was the first opportunity the Lord gave to minister to a lady who was truly grieving. Mary told her she would get some resource materials together and bring some over later in the day, if that is what she desired.
Early to mid-pm she received a text from the lady. Sure enough, she wanted us to come by, since she was troubled and had some questions. So we decided to make a couple stops first and then head over to meet with her for what clearly was turning out to be a ‘divine appointment’. We picked up a platter of ‘precut vegies’ on a platter from the local grocery and headed down the hill. Upon arriving, there were a number of vehicles out front, so we thought several friends or family were already there. Two young men were standing in front of the open garage by one of the vehicles as we approached the house (these we found out were friends of the son). A young man, in his 20’s greeted us at the door (this was her eldest). It appeared just to be immediate family in the house upon our arrival. After meeting her husband and the son, the mother came in from the outside back patio.
In speaking with this lady, many memories of Brianna surfaced again and we had opportunity to share about our experience. Of course, the question was asked more than once, ‘how did you get through your tragedy in those early days? Mary spoke up, “only God has been the One who has got us through thus far.” But it was different. These people didn’t seem to have the hope that we did. On more than one occasion, the mother just broke down and sobbed saying, “I will never see my daughter again”. This really struck me as we sat on her couch just feeling her pain, sympathizing with her while we beheld this grieving mother which felt as one without hope. If we hadn’t lost Brianna, there would be no way for us to really ‘enter into her suffering’, no way to ‘feel her agony’. How thankful I am that God can use us to minister to people in this way and share with them how He has brought us through thus far our time of grief. We can trust Him to carry us through until the end.
Going back up the hill as the sun was almost set in the western sky, we talked about this horrible reality and it occurred to us why the Lord let Yuki suffer a few days longer. You see, if we hadn’t taken her into the ER vet over Labor Day weekend, when she was in much pain, we never would have meet the staff and doctors and shared our daughter’s story during that difficult weekend when we lost Yuki. Apparently, Brianna’s story was shared around the office with staff and doctors in the days after our tragedy. So when this tragic loss of one of their employees occurred, it wasn’t a surprise who they should call to see if we could minister to this grieving mother.
We left her with the comforting words to call us if she needs to talk and that we would keep her in our prayers. Oh how we wish we could have stressed more God’s arms of love are there to hold her. But we believed the Lord lead us what to say. Through this experience we see how the Lord wants to reach this family with His love. Fortunately, one of the close friends of the family, who was there when we arrived, is a Christian and thanked us dearly for coming to minister to her friend, this hurting mother.
Truly the words of the prophet Isaiah take special force here: “Seek the Lord while He may be found, call upon Him while He is near. Let the wicked forsake His way and the unrighteous man his thoughts and let him return unto the Lord, and He will have mercy upon him…for He will abundantly pardon.” (Isa.55:6)