Sunday, August 24, 2008

True Charity

Think of the hardest thing you have ever had to go through in your life. Now imagine the way you think Jesus Christ would look at you if you saw him while you were thinking about this trial and mentally reliving it. What do you think his eyes would look like? He KNOWS how your trial feels. He has been there. He knows you can get through it. Even when you don't think you can. He is there to help bare the weight of your cross when it becomes too much.

The look He would have in His eyes would be full of true charity -- the pure love of Christ. I have been thinking more about charity lately and how the "look" of true charity would look in the Savior's eyes. I imagine it would be a deep knowing, ultimately loving, completely empathetic and totally confident look. The look would give your strength. It would help you stand taller, walk straighter, breath easier. It would let you know you were not alone.

After a tragedy, people look at your differently. Most people do one of two things. They either have a look of pity and concern in their eyes, or they ignore the tragedy and try to act as if it never happened. They don't want to bring it up and make you think about it. Neither of these reactions feel right. 

A few people, those who KNOW, look at you differently. They look at you with a sorrow in their eyes that matches your own. There is a knowing in their eyes. They don't have to ask how you are doing. They know. They don't ask why you are crying. They know. They don't worry if you are going to be alright. They know you will be because they will be. 

They don't avoid talking about your tragedy. Neither do they feel compelled to verbally acknowledge it every time they see to check on how you are doing. It is not an awkward subject with others who know. It is a piece of common ground.  They grieve with you, not for you.

Most importantly they look at you with love. Yes I believe the look in their eyes in a pure form of charity. Your hearts are bound together in trial and you feel each other's pain. This is how Christ can love us so purely. He knows. Our hearts become bound to his through trials as we feel the pains he felt. With each different trail we gain a precious new aspect of charity.

I have spent the last four days with a friend like this. I met Brittany Kunz on the miracle of the World Wide Web after both our babies died within a week of each other. We have corresponded often since. We have talked on the phone frequently. We have laughed together and cried together. Meeting her in person has been the most comfortable natural thing I could imagine. There is no need for explanations. We both just know. There is empathy in the truest sense. There is love. There is true charity.

Doug and Brittany Kunz and Stephanie and Jonathan Waite

Here are our girls. Savannah, Lauren, Annie, Sabrina, Mikenna.


Anonymous said...

I know exactly how you feel. I've been struggling with a way to talk about this on my blog soon.

Anonymous said...

Oh, and I'm so glad you have each other!

*tif* said...

I don't know how you feel but I am glad to get your perspective on the subject. I know it's frustrating for both parties because if you haven't experienced even the same kind of tragedy, you just don't know the right way to handle it. It takes knowing to truly understand. I wish there were another way. I guess it's ok though, it tends to take the credibility away if someone hasn't experienced the same kind of trial as you yourself have. I still wish I could be there for others more empathetically.

Anonymous said...

So true, Stephanie. So true! How fortunate for you to have found the Kunz family.

The Prattastic 6 said...

Hello Stephanie,
I have been one of many who have been reading your blog, I live in California and a link was sent to me from a friend, to read what you and your family were going through, so often I find myself not sleeping and so I get on here and read. I am helping a friend through a sudden death of her husband, different pain I am sure but still hurts. I have felt compelled to share with you a poem and I will also share it with Britt. First and for most, I want you to know your two families have been in my prayers since I started reading. You have helped me see the other side of the grief. One we all hope we never have, but it's women like you and Britt who help us help others who are going through and loss. My girlfriend loss her 2 year old over a year ago and even though they knew he was dieing, it doesnt make it hurt any less, I have been able to approach her on different times and I know it makes her feel normal, for that second. Thank you for being so honest and I have felt without a doubt to show you this poem, you have it, but the spirit has prompted me to give it to you. So with that I say your even in strangers prayers...
Taffi Pratt
Ask My Mom How She Is

My Mom,
she tells a lot of lies

she never did before

From now until she dies,

she'll tell a whole lot more

Ask my mom how she is

and because she can't explain,

She will tell a little lie

because she can't describe the pain.

Ask my Mom how she is,

She'll say "I'm alright"
If that's the truth,
than tell me,
why does she cry each night?

Ask my Mom how she is,

she seems to cope so well.

She didn't have a choice you see,

nor the strength to yell.

Ask my Mom how she is,

"I'm fine, I'm well, I'm coping
For Gods sake Mom, just tell the truth

just say your heart is broken.

She'll love me all her life,

I loved her all of mine.

But if you ask her how is she

she'll lie and say she's fine

I am here in Heaven.

I cannot hug from here.

If she lies to you don't listen,

Hug her and hold her near.

On the day we meet again,

we'll smile and I'll be bold.

I'll say, "You're lucky to get in here, Mom

with all the lies you told!"
- author unknown

Stacy said...

That was beautifully written. I don't think it could be written more perfectly. Thank you for your thoughts.

Marleen said...

I am happy you two have become friends and have each other to relate too. Love comes in many forms and friends are one of the best.

Shanan said...

This post made me smile. I'm so glad you have found each other to help bear the burden as you walk through these trials together. May you continue to find the support you both need.

Molly Bice-Jackson said...

Oh, how I wish I could have been there. This was beautiful. Absolutely beautiful.

Mimi's Toes said...

So very well said. Glad you have a friend to share with and who understands. Your words minister to me every time I read your posts.

McGiven Family.... said...

This post made me cry and smile at the same time. Today I have been thinking a lot about friendship and how important good friends are. It sounds like you have found a great friend! I am so glad that the 2 of you have each other. I am amazed at the strength that you have both shown and thank you for your willingness to share your stories.

Jennie said...

I am so glad that you were able to meet and connect with each other. I know that no matter how sympathetic one may be, somebody who *knows* can truly be empathetic to you. I am glad that you will be able to bear one another's burdens together.

Kdskids said...

It was nice visiting with you the other morning. I know this is late in being posted but I just wanted to say how good you looked. I can tell that you and Britt had a great time and it was good for your souls to connect. You looked much more "here" and very peaceful. It was so nice to see you again.
Take care and I will talk to you soon!


Anaise said...

I think you know my sister Rhyetta.
I'm in the process of losing my 2 year old--and I'm feeling pretty lost and trying to feel that God loves me anyway. I'm impressed with your strength and confidence in God's love. I'm struggling to find my own. I appreciate seeing your testimony.

Does the ache ever go away when strangers in the grocery store say, "Wow 3 girls! (or in my case "Wow 5 girls!") and all you can think of is how it used to be 4 girls (or 6)?

janelle said...

I met Doug and Brittany for the first time in Havasupai. I am glad you two have each other. You both are amazing women!!