Unlikely Company

I watched a tender video of a dad brushing his little girl’s hair as she is sobbing. When he asks her what’s wrong she chokes out, “I don’t know”. So he sweetly asks her if she’d like something special done with her hair. He was so patient with her as she finally said, still in tears, ‘curls’. While he plugs in the curling iron he smiles and says, ‘wanna hear a joke?’ He tells her a dad joke…and instantly she erupts in laughter. There’s been more than half a million views of that little video that captured a dad being a heroic #GirlDad and, ok, maybe dad jokes do serve a purpose.

Do you ever have days like that little one? You just feel blue. Maybe there IS someone or something that you’re carrying grief over. Sometimes there is just no explanation. There’s just a sadness that hangs like a cloud over your heart. Proverbs 14:13 (NLT) tells us, “Laughter can conceal a heavy heart, but when the laughter ends, the grief remains.” My family and I are closing in on the first anniversary of the loss of my brother. We’ve nearly experienced all the firsts in this first year of living without him. My sister-in-love and I were talking this past week about how we were feeling about this milestone. It is hard to put it into words. On his birthday I wrote it this way, “I’m not sorry that you’re there. I’m just sad that you’re not here.”

Maybe you can relate. Grief has so many layers and as we go through the process we find things to smile about…maybe even laugh out loud over. I believe that verse is less about what to do or not do, and more to confirm that in this life there will be heartache, but it is ok to find moments of laughter…even joy. And that it’s alright to keep company with grief and joy side by side. We can be sure of this, when we are finding our way through those days, we are not alone. God promised that He is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. (Psalm 34:18) And that is the BEST company to keep!

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