Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.
Matthew 5:4 NIV

Today’s verse was, “Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted.”

It’s been a rough road as I anticipated this day; today is my son’s earthly birthday. I’ve always heard stories about butterflies, but I never had a visitation from a butterfly. I’m not saying they are false because now I realize God can use anything or anyone to comfort us in our time of mourning. Lately, God has been comforting me through little children at separate times who don’t know about my loss.

For example, last week, a student at the school where I work got frustrated when I walked into his class. I sat away from him and kept my distance; everyone knows I am a special ed assistant, so I observe and am there for support if needed. Well, after watching his behavior, I needed to step in and assist him; he was overwhelmed with his work, and I sat next to him to help him with his notes. He was happy to get caught up, and I told him I would leave because I saw a couple of other students laughing; I didn’t want to embarrass him. He didn’t want me to go, so we worked on his notes together. He didn’t know I needed him to distract me from falling to pieces, but God knew how to comfort me.

Another occasion was Sunday, while at Church. I usually sit alone in the back because sometimes, I get panic attacks; I don’t want to draw attention to myself because it gets worse. When this happens, I know what to do, and I self-soothe through breathing and grounding in Jesus. Anyhow, a young man sat in front of me, and from behind, he resembled my son. Tears began to flow from my eyes, and at about that time, the pastor told everyone to greet one another. I wiped my eyes and walked over to my neighbors, a father, a mother, and their precious little girls, to shake their hands. When I knelt to shake the hand of one of their daughters, instead, she stretched her arms and hugged me. Oh, how Jesus knew that I needed that hug, and He did so through this precious little butterfly.

I planned to take this day off and stay home; I thought it would be a good idea to isolate. However, Jesus had a better plan. One of my duties is as a crosswalker. Every morning, when one of the students sees me from a distance, he begins to smile, and by the time he reaches me, I thank him for my morning smile; it’s a good feeling when someone is happy to see you. The students and I exchange morning greetings, and unless I know one, I greet them by name. I didn’t know this child’s name, but as I walked across the street, he turned around and invited me to his performance after school today.

We all retain priceless moments with our children while they are growing up. Things they may have said or done that touched our souls, and we store them in the treasure chest deep in our hearts. The first teenager got frustrated when he saw me walk in, like my son; when he got frustrated with me, he would show his displeasure. I gave him space, but he quickly discerned his actions and apologized. He couldn’t stay mad at me, nor could I be angry with my children for very long. The little girl at Church didn’t know, but Jesus knew what I needed, and through her, He stretched out His arms and embraced me. And lastly, though the day is not over, the little boy at the crossing didn’t ask me to attend his concert; he expects me to follow through. Like my son, he said, in other words, be there; I’ll expect you to show up.

Although we store these little endearments in our hearts, God knows how priceless they are, and He used these children as my butterflies to comfort me in ways He and I know that no one else can credit themselves for. Blessed are those who mourn, for the God of Comfort will comfort them. Times like these are hard, but the sting is lightened when God embraces us through the arms of others if we allow ourselves to feel and experience His unconditional love. He knows the pain; He sent His only Son to die for us. We are not alone in this, and as Christ rose again, so be it with our beloved when Christ returns.

Happy Birthday, Son! September 20th, 1978