This past Sunday, I shared in the sermon about a former parishioner who taught me about carrying the cross. She was quite a character, and I wrote a blog post in April of 2019 about her, shortly after her death. Here is a modified version of that post. If you’d like to read the whole story, visit my website at www.darianduckworth.com/musings
Out of all the things seminary prepared me to do as a minister, eyebrow painting was not one of them. Yet here I was, removing a lightly tanned stick from a white make-up bag and literally painting eyebrows on one of my church members. After breaking her hip and the slow recovery that followed, Mrs. S. had become bedridden. Of the many everyday tasks she had to give up and grieve was applying her own make-up. When I walked in for our regular visit, the last thing I expected to hear was the command, “Get my make-up bag, and draw me some eyebrows!”
Mrs. S. had a way about her that when she spoke a command, everyone obeyed, whether or not we thought it was a good idea. Me as a makeup artist was definitely not a good idea, but I complied. When I held up a mirror for her to see my meager offering, her smile was worth a thousand thank-you. Then she told me to get the lipstick…
Mrs. S. had experienced a lot of loss in her life. She lost her only son to cancer when he was barely out of college, and the loss of her husband had left her a widow for many years. Putting on her makeup daily was a small task that got her up and out of the house, moving forward in the midst of her sadness. As she grieved that little bit of normalcy, I’m thankful that God entrusted me with the honor of restoring her peace in such a simple routine.
We often don’t know the suffering someone is carrying, or how heavy the cross they bear might be. Yet sometimes we can serve as a balm of Holy Spirit comfort in simply showing up for each other and providing what is needed. How will you serve in the midst of another’s suffering this week?
all good things to each of you,