Last Saturday evening, I received a sad
phone call informing me that one of our
darling neighbor girls, six-year-old Iris,
had been in an accident and had passed away.
My heart broke as I heard the details of the accident, and I tried to
understand and grasp how her mother must be feeling.
I can't imagine.
That evening Mr. Nielson and our good friends went to a party store and
ordered dozens and dozens of white balloons.
The following day at church, we gave the balloons out to all the children in
our congregation, and then together, we let them go while our church bell rang.
The imagery of the balloons floating to heaven was beautiful and healing.
Adults were comforting children while children cried.
Years ago, Mr. Nielson and I lay in comas while hundreds of
family, friends, and strangers let balloons go for us worldwide even!
There was so much hope and so much faith.
|Our balloon release, 2008|
I felt emotional on many levels.
I know pain and tragedy in a very personal way, but I felt so sad and helpless
for Iris's family.
I have specific "go-to" talks I turn to when I feel discouraged,
and this talk by Shayne M. Bowen is one of my favorites.
"I have learned that the bitter, almost unbearable pain can become
sweet as you turn to your Father in Heaven and plead for
His comfort that comes through
His plan; His Son, Jesus Christ; and His Comforter, who is the Holy Ghost.
I testify that because of Him, even our Savior, Jesus Christ, those feelings
of sorrow, loneliness, and despair will one day be swallowed up in a fullness of joy.
I can depend on Him when He said:
"I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you.
"Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me:
because I live, ye shall live also".