Sometimes it just takes one person to talk to another about something they have in common. And that one thing could be grief at the loss of a loved one.
Grief is an interesting thing. Everyone experiences it at some point in their lives, yet each person walks through grief in different ways. We have the assurance of salvation through Christ, and the promise of a joyful reunion in heaven with our loved ones. Yet grief can still weigh heavily on us, because we have been separated from the ones we love.
Joan Darge knew this. It’s been many years since her beloved husband passed away, but there were still times when grief came and visited. She decided to see if there were folks at Our Shepherd, and out in the community, who were also experiencing grief. With help from Our Shepherd staff, Joan identified people within the church who might benefit from a grief care class. She provided the information to Pastor Scherbarth, and he wholeheartedly agreed to schedule and lead the class to provide information, support, encouragement, and prayer.
Joan was also aware that three women in her exercise class had lost their husbands. Joan didn’t know their church or faith backgrounds; she just knew they needed to hear about God’s love for them, and that He had a path for them through their grief. So she asked them if they would be interested in attending a grief class with her, and gave them some material about grief which is available in the church office. The ladies were thankful for the invitation. Ultimately, two of them agreed to come. Joan plans to stay in touch with the third and bring up the subject again.
The day of the first class arrived. Both Pastor Scherbarth and Joan were encouraged by the response. Many people came. Some had lost loved ones recently; some had been grieving a loss for many years. Each story was unique. The path each person followed had been different. But all paths led to this moment together, and through Pastor Ray, God worked powerfully to bring support, fellowship, and healing.
And God did even more. What started off as a grief care class for Our Shepherd members and friends became an accidental outreach. People who hadn’t been to Our Shepherd before, and perhaps hadn’t been to any church in a while, were walking into our doors, receiving care, and experiencing the love and fellowship that comes from the Holy Spirit through our Lord Jesus Christ.
All because one person told another.
“My mouth will tell of your righteous acts, of your deeds of salvation all the day, for their number is past my knowledge. With the mighty deeds of the Lord GOD I will come; I will remind them.”