• Today's Daily Devotion
Help To Heal
THE MOVING WALL, a replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C., has traveled the United States since 1984. Jim Schueckler served as a volunteer when the ...

Help to Heal

“I came to see my son’s name.”

“He’s my brother.”

“I took him hunting.”

“He was the little boy who lived across the street.”

“We were going steady in high school.”

“I was his Boy Scout leader.”

“He went to our church.”

“We were classmates for twelve years.”

“He went out on patrol in my place that day.”

Schueckler’s duty was to help people find and make rubbings of the names they searched for. Even more significant, he gave hurting people a chance to talk:

While searching the directory or leading a visitor to the name they sought, I would quietly ask, “Was he a friend or a relative?” Over the six days, I began conversations that way with several hundred people. Only a handful gave me a short answer; almost everyone wanted to talk. Each had their own story to tell. For some, the words poured out as if the floodgates of a dam that had been closed for thirty years had just burst open. For others, the words came out slowly and deliberately between long pauses. Sometimes, they choked on the words and they cried. I also cried as I listened, asked more questions, and silently prayed that my words would help to heal, not to hurt.

We all worry about what to say to a friend who has lost a loved one. This story is a reminder it doesn’t have to be complicated. During such times, everyone needs a friend who will listen and share memories of the person they are mourning.

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