Today was one of the those days my heart nearly broke for the aching. Our house helper and friend Linda came today this morning as she normally does. We were anxious to see her since her father in law had died last Wednesday and she did not come on Thursday of last week. I have shared in some of our prayer updates that Linda lives in one room of her in-law’s home. She and her husband Gjergji have a rather broken relationship with his parents, mostly due to his father becoming more and more mentally ill over the last few years. We did not attend the funeral since we did not know Gjergi’s father and today she asked us not to come for coffee to pay our respects because Gjergji’s mother has not allowed her to come downstairs to the kitchen to greet guests and help with serving coffee as is Albanian tradition (read more about funeral traditions on our ministry blog from a few months ago).
After listening and talking (as much as I am able), I probed her some more and came to discover that Gjergji’s mother and sisters are pressing Gjergji to leave Linda and ask for a divorce. As she shared more, it became evident that his parents have blamed Linda for their daughter Angela’s death. (Linda and Gjergji’s daughter Angela was 7 when she was hit by a car and killed several years ago).
We wept together. Jesus wept with us. And later I wept for the sheer frustration of not having all the words to say what was in my heart; to offer comfort and hope, to breathe God’s words of forgiveness and peace over her life and heart. And I wept when Linda told me she love me like a sister. Tears flow in the rivers of our hearts, don’t they? And when they do, we can find a common place where all mothers can weep over the love they have for their children and know deeply that our hearts are the same, no matter our language, our country or our race.
Will you pray for Linda today? Pray for peace in her home and her heart, pray that God would reveal himself (and He doesn’t really need my help but I am willing), pray that the root of bitterness would be removed from her mother in law’s heart, pray that our God, who can do more that we can imagine, guess or request in our wildest dreams, would work deeply and gently in their hearts.
7 On this mountain he will destroy
the shroud that enfolds all peoples,
the sheet that covers all nations;
8 he will swallow up death forever.
The Sovereign LORD will wipe away the tears
from all faces;
he will remove the disgrace of his people
from all the earth.
The LORD has spoken.
9 In that day they will say,
“Surely this is our God;
we trusted in him, and he saved us.
This is the LORD, we trusted in him;
let us rejoice and be glad in his salvation.
Our families together on Christmas Eve