The Power of “Withness”

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April 25, 2014

The day after Easter, our beloved Golden Retriever Calvin, only seven years old (that’s mid-life in dog years) had to be put to sleep because of cancer that had been sucking the life out of him. When our son and his wife moved from Texas to California, they were forced to leave him behind because their housing does not allow dogs, and Calvin became my husband’s dog.

Calvin was the exact same shade of red as our Irish Setter, who died seventeen months ago. When we had to put Pele down, there was another big red dog in the house.

But not yesterday. Or today.

And it’s painful.

Ray has always connected in a deep and special way with his dogs, and God has used them to “love on” him, as they say here in the South. So the loss of two beloved four-footed family members in less than a year and a half struck a deep blow of grief to his soul.

I looked forward to his return home so I could just be with him. I knew I couldn’t say anything to make him feel better. Nothing makes a grieving person feel better. But there is comfort in the being there for someone in pain.

Or in stress. The next morning a friend and I went into a courtroom with another mutual friend to support her in a legal hearing. Several times, our friend said how much she appreciated us being there with her and for her.

I am mindful of the week of comfort Job’s friends brought to him when they sat with him in his misery, saying nothing in words but everything with their silent, supportive presence (Job 2:13).

I am also mindful of the good news of the Incarnation, the Son leaving heaven to come into our darkness and misery of life in a fallen world, coming as Immanuel: God with us.

And I am mindful of the big “no accident” of the timing of our painful loss: the day after Easter, when we celebrate Immanuel’s resurrection from the dead, Who is forever alive and, as He promised, He is with us always (Matt. 28:20).

With us in pain.

With us in loss.

With us in stress.

Praise God for the power of “withness”!!

This blog post originally appeared at blogs.bible.org/tapestry/sue_bohlin/the_power_of_withness

Sue Bohlin is an associate speaker/writer and webmistress for Probe Ministries. She attended the University of Illinois, and has been a Bible teacher and conference speaker for over 35 years. She is a frequent speaker for MOPS (Mothers of Pre-Schoolers) and Stonecroft Ministries (Christian Women's Connections), and serves on the board and as a small group leader of Living Hope Ministries, a Christ-centered outreach to those dealing with unwanted homosexuality. Sue is on the Bible.org Women's Leadership Team and is a regular contributor to Bible.org's Engage Blog. She is also a professional calligrapher; but most importantly, she is the wife of Probe's Dr. Ray Bohlin and the mother of their two grown sons. Her personal website is suebohlin.com.

What is Probe?

Probe Ministries is a non-profit ministry whose mission is to assist the church in renewing the minds of believers with a Christian worldview and to equip the church to engage the world for Christ. Probe fulfills this mission through our Mind Games conferences for youth and adults, our 3-minute daily radio program, and our extensive Web site at www.probe.org.

Further information about Probe's materials and ministry may be obtained by contacting us at:

Probe Ministries
2001 W. Plano Parkway, Suite 2000
Plano TX 75075
(972) 941-4565
info@probe.org
www.probe.org

Copyright/Reproduction Limitations

This document is the sole property of Probe Ministries. It may not be altered or edited in any way. Permission is granted to use in digital or printed form so long as it is circulated without charge, and in its entirety. This document may not be repackaged in any form for sale or resale. All reproductions of this document must contain the copyright notice (i.e., Copyright 2015 Probe Ministries) and this Copyright/Limitations notice.

Sue Bohlin is an associate speaker/writer and webmistress for Probe Ministries. She attended the University of Illinois, and has been a Bible teacher and conference speaker for over 35 years. She is a frequent speaker for MOPS (Mothers of Pre-Schoolers) and Stonecroft Ministries (Christian Women's Connections), and serves on the board and as a small group leader of Living Hope Ministries, a Christ-centered outreach to those dealing with unwanted homosexuality. Sue is on the Bible.org Women's Leadership Team and is a regular contributor to Bible.org's Engage Blog. She is also a professional calligrapher; but most importantly, she is the wife of Probe's Dr. Ray Bohlin and the mother of their two grown sons. Her personal website is suebohlin.com.

What is Probe?

Probe Ministries is a non-profit ministry whose mission is to assist the church in renewing the minds of believers with a Christian worldview and to equip the church to engage the world for Christ. Probe fulfills this mission through our Mind Games conferences for youth and adults, our 3-minute daily radio program, and our extensive Web site at www.probe.org.

Further information about Probe's materials and ministry may be obtained by contacting us at:

Probe Ministries
2001 W. Plano Parkway, Suite 2000
Plano TX 75075
(972) 941-4565
info@probe.org
www.probe.org

Copyright/Reproduction Limitations

This document is the sole property of Probe Ministries. It may not be altered or edited in any way. Permission is granted to use in digital or printed form so long as it is circulated without charge, and in its entirety. This document may not be repackaged in any form for sale or resale. All reproductions of this document must contain the copyright notice (i.e., Copyright 2015 Probe Ministries) and this Copyright/Limitations notice.

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