(Continued from last time) Person had agreed to pick up his sister’s son one afternoon and watch him for a few hours. It sounded easy enough, and he was feeling generous after such a dramatic turn of events in his own life.
That afternoon Person’s nephew was in a terrible mood. He could not cheer him up with jokes or by playing music. He tried asking the boy about his day and heard the explosive response about how terrible the day had been as he described a disagreement with a classmate.
Person had made arrangements to take his neighbor’s dog to a local dog park. He was glad to have those plans for he could tell the afternoon was going to be a challenge with his nephew’s volatile mood. Things were better after the dog was in the car. It was hard for the boy to stay upset when every pedestrian and every movement was so intensely interesting. The dog could not contain the excitement and eagerly jumped from the boy’s lap to the other seat to peer out the window, then back again which made them laugh.
At the dog park, the two sat down and watched the dogs greet each other, circling the perimeter. Every fence post was fascinating, every toy a desire that must be met. The hour went by very quickly with uncle and nephew in easy conversation, letting the stress of the day melt away. Even when there was a slight scuffle with other dogs, the tension was soon over and the dog seemed unscathed. It was good to be there and enjoy the air until finally they decided it was time to return home.
Person had not realized the windows of the car were left half down. He had put the dog in the car and was waiting to shut the door for his nephew when he looked up. The borrowed dog was too interested in a canine friend across the street to merely watch from the window, and it started to jump out of the car into the street. In his haste to retrieve the dog he slammed the door and hurried into the street after it.
While he was in pursuit of the dog he heard a shrill sound from his nephew. Intent on catching the dog, he decided the boy was probably okay. Once he held the dog’s leash, he turned to see what the fuss had been about. He could see the boy’s fingers and immediately knew what had happened. His nephew had still been entering the car, and his hand had been crushed by the weight and the force of the closing door.
In a sickening moment of guilt and fear he opened the door and stared into the face of his sobbing nephew. The hand was discolored and obviously broken and painful. He secured the dog and tried to reassure his nephew to make him feel better. He apologized as they drove to the emergency room, but his stomach turned as he listened to the boy suffering behind him. He was filled with deep remorse and wished that he had just left the door open. (Click here to read the next section of the story.)
—————Thoughts that motivated this section of the story—————
In this section I wanted to depict a deep regret, the wish that we had acted differently
4 Blessed are they that mourn: for they shall be comforted.
Pain, sorrow, grief are words that try to depict what mourning means and the emotion that word conveys. In Matthew 5:4 Matthew quotes Jesus’ continued words in the Sermon on the Mount, this time the people blessed are those who mourn. Then Jesus promises a solution to that state and the reason for being considered blessed – they will be comforted. To mourn is not something we relish because it is usually associated with death and loss. Although most of us will (and maybe have) experience loss, I’m not sure many would say that could be considered a blessing!
Jesus has already turned things on its head and made people wonder at His words, and here again He catches you off guard. Certainly death is not a joyful thing, and letting go of a loved one is hard and Jesus must know this – so how does mourn and blessed fit together? If it is about the loss of someone, it makes this a riddle…but if it is about us I think it makes much more sense. To mourn about ourselves is to regret an action, to wish we had chosen differently. This part of the story was to remind all of us of a moment when we desperately wished to take back a choice we made, but can’t.
If you put this in the context with the last reflection; I first realize that I am spiritually bankrupt and feel broken. I deeply regret my actions and that causes me to mourn. The promise of ‘they shall be comforted’ has a ring of finality to it. It’s not a temporary comfort that wanes any time I make a poor choice. This promise of comfort is permanent and extraordinary and it involves grace – which is unmerited and undeserved favor, or acceptance in spite of me. Worthy and Holy are You Lord!