There’s a half-empty cup of tea sitting on the counter at home right now.
It was meant to be a memorial cup of tea that I was drinking in memory of my mother. She was born in England and so tea was a staple for her whole life. I learned from her how to make a cup of English tea, but also how to enjoy one, and was doing that this morning. In fact, it’s her favorite cup sitting there right now. I was drinking out of that cup because today is the one-year anniversary of her death.
It’s cold right now because halfway through my cup I got a call from one of the members of my church that a loved one passed, and would I please come? I was glad to do so, even in the middle of my cuppa. I took one last warm mouthful, closed my eyes, swallowed, got Jacob and headed out the door. I sat with the family, mostly quietly, and tried to be Jesus to them. I never mentioned my own anniversary.
See, it doesn’t do much good to have these anniversaries where we simply will ourselves to mope and be sad, or to reflect all day on what we’ve lost. There’s a cloud over me, for sure, but that doesn’t matter to my friends right now, who need some comfort of their own. A year ago, Jesus was enough, and He sustained me, and now my friends need Him to. That’s why 2 Corinthians 1:4 says that God “comforteth us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith we ourselves are comforted of God.” My ministry is offer Christ to those who are hurting just as much as I am today, even more since it is so fresh.
I miss my mom and will, I suspect, every January 30th. I will accumulate these sad anniversaries in my life because of other losses while I also gather happy ones with more gains, and all of them are reasons to be grateful for the goodness of God in my life. When I have a chance, I reflect, but my life cannot be spent in the past. Not while others need Christ’s comfort and help, too.
Mom rarely put her tea in the microwave to heat it up. It had to be perfect from a kettle, like mine was a few hours ago. But I will probably heat up my half-full cup and finish it and go on with my day, and go on with my life… and thank Him for comfort.