It was his eyes that made me do it.
The soft smile on his face did nothing to mask the deep loneliness in his eyes—the type of loneliness that comes from experiencing the death of a beloved spouse.
“Would you be interested in joining our family for dinner and Family Night this week?” I asked him, as we sat with a small group of people who had gathered for the evening.
It was a spontaneous invitation, really, and for a moment I wondered if I hadn’t been too impulsive. After all, with my urgent need for rest, and the paralyzingly social anxiety I’d been battling for the past year and a half, I had good reason to desire a quiet evening at home alone with my family.
But that lonely look in his eyes made me do it.
And when he accepted the invitation with more genuine gratitude than anyone I’ve ever invited into our home, I knew my spontaneity hadn’t been a mistake after all.
Bringing Joy To The Brokenhearted
The meal we enjoyed together was simple and filling, and the Family Night message the kids prepared on the baptism of Jesus was entertaining, but it was the conversation around the kitchen table that was the highlight of the evening. Our guest shared with us his life stories of growing up in a small town, traveling the world, meeting his beautiful wife, and living a life of integrity—pictures included. And boy, did his eyes flicker with joy at the memories!
It’s that flicker of joy in his eyes that I find myself reflecting on as I think back on our evening.
It’s that dramatic change of the eyes—from loneliness to joy—that motivates me, even in my darkest hours of exhaustion and paralyzing anxiety, to continue reaching outward, to continue doing the small things that will bring joy to the lonely and broken-hearted and, little by little, fill my own little corner the world with peace, hope, and love.
When have you experienced the gift of bringing joy to the brokenhearted?
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