A friend called today to ask how I planned to occupy my time during the Covid-19 stay-at-home order. “Truthfully, I hoped to hunker down and complete a new book.” She paused and then added, “But writing a book seems like such a grueling marathon unless, of course, you write a best seller.” “Or,” I replied, “unless you feel genuinely called to write that book. This was the case for me when I wrote a little book titled, If I Could Mend Your Heart. Today I read it again.

Years of hospital chaplaincy—listening, affirming, and comforting patients and their loved ones—I learned a great deal. Specifically, I learned the language of sorrow and healing: what is helpful and generative at the time of a tragedy and what is not?

This tender little book, takes readers down a path that illustrates how life offers us plenty of gifts, adventures, and splendid opportunities. Yet it also tests us with setbacks, dead ends, hellos and good-byes. Jobs begin and end. Sickness and suffering arise. A day likely comes in each of our lives when we meet head on with an unthinkable event or loss of heartbreaking scale.

Searching for meaning and comfort, we set out on an unmapped passage through sorrow, confusion, and back we pray, to health and whole hearted living.

None of us comes fully prepared to walk through grief. My goal for readers is that they discover a bright jewel of comfort and hope in this little book. The words come straight from my heart and life experience. Each page reflects the voices of children, friends, physicians, and hospital patients I’ve met along the way.

Moved Toward Love

I said to the night

That stood at the gate of Spring ascending,

“Give me a light

that I might tread safely

into the dark and through the unknown.”

And a voice said in reply,

“Put your hand into the hand of the one who made you,

and your reward will be

blessed with more light,

courage,

and compassion,

far safer than the unknown.

A moment when God speaks

And we humans hear and are moved toward love.

Amen

 

Mary I Farr April 2, 2020