Down the Street

It is a quite Sunday morning on my street with birds gently waking up the neighborhood, and I imagine fathers stretching and moms changing diapers, and the smell of coffee and the giggles of children as I walk past the houses.

But not for 126.

It looks so normal, so Sunday morning-ish.

But two days ago, the son died tragically, a victim of foolishness, lack of control and despair. And yesterday, a father and a mother had to go pick a casket in which to lay his stiffened body.

Their house looks just like it does all of the other days: drawn curtains, cut grass, cars parked neatly in the driveway.  But my heart hears the wailing behind those quiet windows.

And my hands feel so helpless in the face of such tragedy.

I slip a note in the mailbox and I call on the Lord for comfort.

Tomorrow, they will bury their son, and their hopes and their dreams for his future and theirs. Tomorrow they will stand in the scorching sun while they lower his body in the hole freshly dug. They will get back in their car and come back to my street, park their car neatly in the driveway, enter the house and close the door behind them. But the son won’t be with them–gone forever.

It will look all so Monday-ish, normal, uneventful.  And most of the street won’t even know the difference.

My gut hurts through and through, and I can’t find relief. How do I  reach out to my neighbor in mourning when I never took time to talk to them in the normalcy of life?

Oh, I know that my prayers do count; but they are not enough.

Only love played out in the nasties of life will interrupt the cycle of indifference. He said to love my neighbor as myself.

Father, have mercy on me.

Cultivating Thankfulness with Ann Voskamp

#249 a breezy afternoon

#248 the report that the tumor is not cancer

#247 My friend being kept through an accident

Linking up with Hear it Use it,  a Mama’s Story, Hearts Reflected, In and Around Mondays, EOA, New Life Steward, What Joy is Mine, Play Dates, Tell Me a Story, Just Write, SDG



  1. Oh so sad. Losing a child changes you forever. “Only love played out in the nasties of life will interrupt the cycle of indifference.” So beautifully written in its truthfulnees.


  2. Out of your compassion will come an answer and God will make the opportunity. Watch and see what He will do! He works thru love and He has shed His love abroad in your heart.


  3. Thank you for reminding us that we can do something even in the midst of devastating tragedy. During moments like this, a lot of words are not needed. Just being present, making yourself available and offering prayers can, and is often, enough.

    (Visiting from Playdates with God)


  4. Thank you for sharing your post at “tell Me a Story.” Your story reminds us that neighbors may be hurting and even a note in the mail box can lift spirits. It is sad when a youth dies needlessly and leaves broken hearts behind.


  5. We never know when our hearts will be broken. And we never know when someone in our neighborhood is going to struggle. I posted about a situation that was “deadly” serious. Don’t want to bug you, but think you’d understand:

    Reaching out to them now, just showing comfort, might open a door you never anticipated. Thank you for sharing and for spreading the word around the world so more people will keep this suffering family in their hearts.


  6. Oh my heart hurts for them. I echo Joanne’s suggestion. Pray for God to show you a way to reach out. I know the note will speak His love to them as well. Such an opportunity to show His love and grace.

    Thanks for linking up with WIP Wednesday!


  7. We are neighbors today at Unwrapping Promises and WIP Wednesday…and my heart hurts for your other neighbor. . . The beauty of grace is it’s never too late. Showing God’s love is always appropriate. Thank you for reaching out to them. you don’t have to make it all better, just have to let them know they’re not alone.

    All for Him with hugs to you!


  8. I completely understand. We lost a young boy in our neighborhood this summer due to a accident and I can only imagine the grief that family is going through. I pray that they are turning towards God more in this time.


  9. “My gut hurts through and through, and I can’t find relief. How do I reach out to my neighbor in mourning when I never took time to talk to them in the normalcy of life?”

    Wow. Truer words never spoken, written or felt. How? You just do. You obey the impulse that you were made for such a time as this and be the conduit for the Jesus they need now more than ever. I will pray for YOU because I know just through reading this…you’re going to go to them and together you will learn that in the hands of our loving Redeemer…NOTHING is wasted (Jason Gray)


  10. Awww, I’ve never met that kind of grief in my neighborhood. That is heartbreaking. A few years ago I watch and ambulance go flying down the street and sit at a house of elderly neighbors for a long time. I wondered what was taking so long, and if they were fixing whatever had happened. They left the neighborhood normal speed. I found out that the husband had died Now I see she has a boyfriend, and I think it is so sweet. The house looks alive from the outside. TALU


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