Posted by: Omar C. Garcia | October 27, 2011

A Mother’s Hidden Pain

Kolaches and breakfast tacos. That’s the reason Doyle and I found ourselves at the popular and family owned Weikel’s Bakery in  La Grange, Texas earlier this week. We were there to pick up a large order for a bunch of hungry folks at our annual staff retreat. While waiting for our order, I noticed a large photograph of a handsome young man in a football uniform on display in the bakery. His name and the date of his birth and death were printed on the photo. He was 23-years-old when he died. I turned to Doyle and said, “I wonder how that young man died.” Curious to know more, I walked over to ask one of the ladies behind the bakery counter.

Me: I couldn’t help but notice the photo of that young man in the football uniform. Who was he and how did he die?

Lady: That’s Mr. Weikel’s son. He was killed in a car accident. I think he was coming home from a football game when it happened.

Me: Oh my. I am so sorry to hear that.

Lady: Yea. He and I grew up together here in La Grange. He was a really nice guy.

And then, the lady behind the counter looked down and softly continued.

Lady: My son also died in a car accident. It happened two years ago on my birthday. He would have turned twenty this year.

And then she paused, turned her head from side to side, and continued. Two of his friends were also killed in that accident.

Me: I am so sorry for your loss. I can’t begin to imagine how painful that must have been for you.

Lady: Yea. It still hurts.

And then the lady paused, her eyes now moist, and softly said, Tomorrow is my birthday. It’s gonna be a tough day.

I spent a few more moments with her before she had to attend to another customer. As Doyle and I drove away we talked about this lady and the pain she will carry with her for the rest of her life. You just never know the kind of pain that the people you see everyday carry around inside — pain hidden behind a smile or buried so deep that no one can see it. But, it’s there. Proverbs 14:13 reminds us, “Even in laughter the heart may ache, and the end of joy may be grief.” That’s just one reason why we should try to be nice to everybody we meet. A courteous greeting, a warm smile, or an encouraging word are just some of the things that can bless those who carry heavy burdens of pain. So, the next time you look in to the eyes of the person behind the counter or in the next office or standing on a street corner, be kind to them. You just never know how God might use your kindness and concern as a soothing balm to bring a little relief and encouragement to someone in pain.


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