Nothing Left

The steady fall of rain is so peaceful. Sometimes I like to walk outside and stand there, face turned up, arms outstretched. People point and look at me strangely, but I don’t care. The drops of water falling from the sky hide the tears that are continuously running down my face. I don’t have as many friends now as I used to. They are too uncomfortable whenever they are around me. I try, but at times, it’s too hard to contain my emotions. They all must think I’m crazy and have completely lost my mind.

My husband passed away less than a year ago. We were married for a long time, and the pain of that loss has nearly ended me. My heart is a mess of broken and shattered pieces. I feel as if I’m standing in the middle of an empty room. There are no doors, no windows to allow light in. It’s a darkened world of hopelessness and fear, one that I can never escape. I can hear people outside banging on the walls trying to get in, but no one can save me. I know they mean well, but I have come to a point in my life where I don’t even want them to try and help me any longer.

The only thing left to live for is my son, and he will not live to see tomorrow. Last night, I started preparing some flowers for his grave. I couldn’t finish. The thought of losing the one piece of my heart that remains intact, reduced me to a heap of uncontrollable sobs. He is such a sweet boy. A teenager in the process of becoming a man. He doesn’t deserve to die. As a parent, there is no more of a helpless feeling than being unable to take care of our children. I nursed him, I clothed him, I held him when he was hurt. Now, I will have to bury him.

No parent should ever have to outlive their own child. It just isn’t fair. He already suffered through the loss of a father who loved him almost more than life itself. He was stepping into the role of being the man of the house. From the death bed, his father made him promise to remain strong and take care of me. Now my son is on his own death bed, but he has no one to leave me with. There is nothing left for me here. I just don’t think I can take this life anymore. In a darkened sky, my son is the bright star I can always see. He has helped me through the pain and despair more than he will ever know. The moment he takes his last breath, I will be completely and utterly alone in this world.

I whisper final goodbyes as he peacefully slips away. A crowd has gathered to pay last respects. Some of the men have volunteered to carry his body outside the city gates. I want my son to be buried beside my husband. They were separated in this life. Maybe they will reunite in the next. We walk outside. The rain has stopped, and the sun shines brightly down from a crystal clear sky. As we slowly make our way through the crowd, I barely recognize the people from my home town. I feel like a complete stranger. I’m thankful so many have come to bury my son, but I wonder if they are truly here because they care, or if it’s their duty to help lay to rest one of their own.

Outside the city gates, we are greeted by a different crowd of people. They must have realized what was going on, because they all stop and allow us to pass by. Through my tears, I watch as one of the men starts to walk toward us. Those carrying my son stop as he approaches. My eyes stare at the ground. I don’t want to share my loss with complete strangers. I hear quiet conversation, and then feel the presence of someone standing directly in front of me. Reluctantly, I raise my head.

He doesn’t appear to be much older than my son, but there is a deep maturity stirring inside those eyes. He raises his hand and gently touches my cheek. I nearly collapse to my knees as sobs begin to shudder throughout my body. People from both crowds move closer to see what’s going on. I hear myself speaking. “My son. He’s all I have left. My husband is dead. I have no one.”

He lifts my face and looks directly into my eyes. It’s the first time in my life I can ever remember feeling such love and compassion coming from another human being. He smiles, and I feel as if I am the most special person in the entire world. “Don’t cry,” he whispers.

He walks over and places his hand on the wooden board where my son lies. An expectant hush falls over the crowd. My heart beats faster as each second passes by. I have no idea what is about to happen, but there is an energy in the air that sends chills down my back. The bearers slowly lower the bier to the ground. The man kneels and gently touches my son’s forehead. “Young man. I say to you, get up!”

I hold my breath. Who is this man?

A gasp ripples across the crowd as my son slowly raises his head. The tears of suffering and loss that have streamed down my cheeks now turn into tears of unimaginable joy. The man helps my son to his feet, and I rush to over to hold him. I nearly trip in my haste, but I regain my balance. I cry out my son’s name over and over.

Confusion covers my son’s face, but when he sees me running over, he smiles. “Mother?”

I nearly tackle him as I wrap him up in my arms. The crowd erupts into cheers as everyone shouts out the man’s name. “Jesus! Jesus!”

The steady fall of rain is so peaceful. Sometimes I like to walk outside and stand there, face turned up, arms outstretched. People point and look at me strangely, but I don’t care. I am praising my Lord and Savior, and thanking Him for saving my life.

This story is based on Luke 7:11-17.

Chris Martin

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