My Kitchen Window

By: Patty Joyce


I always wanted a window over my kitchen sink, and in my current home, I have one. My kitchen window becomes a movie screen with all kinds of activity. I never know what I’m going to see in my front-row seat of the community. To the far right, I see the end of my street, which intersects with one of the main thoroughfares in the development. The streets are lined with sidewalks to provide a safe place for neighbors walking with, or without, their dogs. Breeds range from small Yorkies to majestic Huskies. In fact, some parents walk their dogs while pushing a stroller, combining two outings into one.

When I look directly in front of me, I see my neighbor’s manicured backyard. In addition to his timed sprinkler, he is faithful in manually watering his shrubs during the hot Florida summer days. As my eyes veer left, another home has a huge palm tree that requires a ladder or a long-handled saw to remove the dead fronds. The next house has two kayaks on their screened porch—a sport I wish I had mastered. As my head turns further to the left, my emotions quickly change from a neutral state to a deep sympathetic knot in my stomach when I see the driveway of a home on the next street parallel to mine.

A great loss has visited this home, and no words, meals, cards, or flowers, though appreciated, can replace the absence. Only by the grace of God can the family continue on as they pass their youngest son’s bedroom, see his favorite cereal in the pantry, or look upon the framed photos of his high school graduation.


What Scripture can I use that can adequately express that God was there, is there, and will continue to be there even when the emptiness is all-consuming? Holy Spirit is so faithful in reminding us of God’s Word, which can be surprising, like this one:


He says, “Be still, and know that I am God.”

Psalm 46:10a NIV


How does a Christian family be still at the most crushing time of their lives? With hundreds of thoughts and emotions crisscrossing together like a ball of yarn, crying, screaming, pacing, sleeplessness, unbelief, and numbness would more aptly be described than being still. What greater walk of faith can be tested? Would I know and recognize the God of that moment? The God who gave life and now has called my child home? I honestly don’t know how I would be still or know anything.

I am reminded of the Psalms where David cried out to the Lord for compassion, forgiveness, guidance, mercy, peace, protection, and strength. He encountered betrayal, disloyalty, hatred, harm, deceit, grief, fear, sin, and doubt. And yet, after a myriad of emotions, he praised and rejoiced in the Lord. Who hears our silent cries from so deep within they are deafening? To whom do we run?


To you, Lord, I call; you are my Rock, do not turn a deaf ear to me. For if you remain silent, I will be like those who go down to the pit. Hear my cry for mercy as I call to you for help, as I lift up my hands to your most Holy Place. Praise be to the Lord, for he has heard my cry for mercy. The Lord is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in him, and he helps me. My heart leaps for joy, and with my song I praise him. The Lord is the strength of his people, a fortress of salvation for his anointed one. Save your people and bless your inheritance; be their shepherd and carry them forever.

Psalm 28:1-2;6-9 NIV


We pour our heart out to this God who gives us life, but how do we respond to the untimely passing of a young loved one? What do we have that will bring the peace once known?


John 11:17-27 (NIV) tells us:


On his arrival, Jesus found that Lazarus had already been in the tomb for four days.Now Bethany was less than two miles from Jerusalem, and many Jews had come to Martha and Mary to comfort them in the loss of their brother. When Martha heard that Jesus was coming, she went out to meet him, but Mary stayed at home.

“Lord,” Martha said to Jesus, “if you had been here, my brother would not have died. But I know that even now God will give you whatever you ask.”

Jesus said to her, “Your brother will rise again.”

Martha answered, “I know he will rise again in the resurrection at the last day.”

Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me will live, even though they die; and whoever lives by believing in me will never die. Do you believe this?”

“Yes, Lord,” she replied, “I believe that you are the Messiah, the Son of God, who is to come into the world.”

Are these just words from the Old Testament and the New Testament? Is “Be still, and know that I am God” just another quote someone thought would be a nice addition? Or, do we believe 2 Timothy 3:16-17:

All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

How do we continue to be trained in righteousness and remain fully equipped when facing a trial that defies any experience we’ve encountered? We all have choices. We can choose to believe there is eternal life through Christ, or not. The family who lost their youngest son believes there is eternal life through Christ and they will be reunited with him someday. Their walk of faith continues to grow stronger, and when stumbling, they get up and continue on this journey, praying that others will come to believe there is life after death—and that life is the Lord Jesus Christ.

Friend, I pray you will ask yourself, “Do I have eternal life? Have I strayed from the Life Giver? Will He accept me and my brokenness?”

I am not here to judge. I am reaching out in hopes that I, and others, can walk this journey with you—no matter where we begin!




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