One of the really positive things Helen and I have found about this area is how many people have good relationships with family living nearby.
It’s something we miss – our nearest family members are nearly 100 miles away in Sheffield and Manchester, with others further away still – in London, Durham, Newcastle and Hampshire.
But sometimes things aren’t so good. A partner,
parent, or even child dies – and leaves a big hole. Worse still, a living relative falls out with you and cuts you off. Either way, loneliness cuts deep.
At those times you need someone walking alongside you. Not to talk so much as to listen, and simply be there with you through the difficult times. When I take funerals, I know that
the service itself is only one step on a long journey. My real job is to be there with the family as they experience the emotion of loss. No-one can properly fill the gap left by a missing
or estranged relative, but we can at least offer comfort in the
sorrow and hurt.
But there is someone who can be even more help.
Jesus knows what it is like. As he faced his own death even his closest followers ran away and denied ever knowing him. And on the cross he was cut off even from his heavenly Father. But still he kept going.
Jesus did not abandon the world despite all his own suffering. Do you think he would abandon you now in the midst of yours?
If you’re going through a difficult time (or you know a neighbour who is), do remember that we’re here for you. Give us a call, or just drop round. We’d be very
happy to come and talk or pray with you.
This article first appeared in Issue 2 of The Rufford Brick, April 2014