It was not until a close friend of mine tragically lost her son in an automobile accident that I learned how God manifests Himself through other people. While raising four children my biggest fear was the thought of losing any one of them. I was certain I could never survive a loss such as that. When this happened to my friend’s son I instintively empathized with her and felt her loss very keenly. I tried to support her as best as I knew how. One day she looked at me and said “I see God through you”. Through me? What is she talking about? I try to be kind and helpful to others but anyone seeing God through me seemed a bit over the edge.
It was not until many years later when the thing that I prayed would never happen to one of my children did happen. I lost my lovely daughter to breast cancer. Now I, too, joined that sad ‘club’ that no one wants to become a member. I was as devastated as was my friend and thousands of other mothers who have lost one of their children. It was at this time that I learned what my friend meant when she had told me that “I see God through you”. During my most intense grief there were so many people who rallied around me and my family offering condolences, support and much-needed empathy. It was then that I began to see God in each person who had the concern and love to help me in my grief. Envisioning God through the lens of another person is a concept that I had never been aware of and I am glad that my friend taught me to ‘see’ God’s spirit working through the wonderful people who embraced me in my sorrow. I learned that my God is not some abstract elusive spirit somewhere out in the cosmos but that God is right in front of me in the eyes and spirit of the many people who generously extend their love and empathy to others in their time of need.