Simple Mercy: Comforting the Sorrowful

A picture may be worth 1,000 words but the picture this story paints just needs one – love.

It’s about Susanna and her neighbor, Mrs. Honeycutt. Susanna noticed Mrs. Honeycutt’s “angel sparkle” the first time they met. “She was open to listening and connecting, and I was warmed and magnetized by it. I’d lost my mother in my 20s so this kind of motherly attention from a slightly more “experienced” mama-gal made my heart swell…she filled a void just by offering me her presence.”

Unfortunately, in January, Susanna lost her dad unexpectedly. “Dad’s death made me feel pushed into a soggy, rudder-less boat adrift to the stupid, yuck-no-thank-you island of Parentless People. Losing Mom was one horrible thing, but when Dad died, I lost my bearings.”

With her brother and her husband, Susanna traveled to Mississippi to empty her Dad’s house: “a stunning Federal-style estate built in 1860 and filled with fineries, antiques and everything I did not want or wish to organize. To make it seem more glamorous or at least a notch up from the despair I was feeling over the process, I posted photos of Dad’s lovely interior décor online. It was a nice release to send some of Dad’s life vision out there into the world. It kept something of him alive. My compass recalibrated just a teeny, little bit.

About a week after we returned, a package arrived on my doorstep with a note on it that read, “You, me, Chardonnay on the deck?” I am always down for an invitation to slurp the chard – especially when it’s Mrs. Honeycutt doing the asking! But the package contents took the cake. That gal downloaded all those beautiful photos I’d taken of Dad’s house and made a beautiful little picture book out of them! A keepsake forever!

And there it was, just sitting there, offering itself to me humbly on my front porch without an iota of fanfare. It was just there. This most wonderful gift that filled my heart with warmth, just sitting there as if it’s no big deal whatsoever. To me, this was the ultimate grace. Of course, I texted Suzanne right away to share my gratitude and told her what an amazing idea the book was. You know what she said? She said she was praying for God to show her the right thing to do and that He chooses the best gifts. Mrs. Honeycutt said, ‘That Jesus, he’s the boss of me.’

That’s grace.”

Hi all ~ I love all of the beautiful ways there are to do mercy. How so much of mercy is just showing up for one another, making someone feel seen or heard. I thought this was such a creative way to comfort someone. And, I love that Mrs. Honeycutt asked God how to best help her friend. Stories like this are such an inspiration to me and remind me how much we can all make a difference.

I hope you will try to come to my book launch talk at Assumption Catholic Church on May 22 at 7 p.m. I know it’s going to be amazing because today when I went to pull up my speech to practice, my computer wouldn’t turn on. I repeatedly pressed the on/off button and plugged and unplugged. I did all the tricks and nothing. While it seemed hopeless I thought, “Yay, me! This must be some talk for the devil to go through all of this to sabotage me!” See, what an optimist I am?!

To order my new book, Simple Mercies go to bit.ly/larabooks or Amazon

8 thoughts on “Simple Mercy: Comforting the Sorrowful

  • May 23, 2021 at 2:39 pm
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    Lovely posts, as always.
    I enjoyed the talk and entire event last night. You were right, the devil needed to try to do his best to thwart your efforts- because it was amazing! Looking forward to reading your book

    Peace- Malisa

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    • May 25, 2021 at 8:03 pm
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      Thank you, Malisa! And, I am glad I got to meet you. I remember signing your book because of the spelling of your name! It was such a great night – thank you for being there!

      Reply
  • May 11, 2021 at 6:48 am
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    Wishing I was close enough to come to the talk… but SOOO excited to read the book!

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    • May 11, 2021 at 9:06 am
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      I know! But I will talk for you anytime! Miss you!

      Reply
  • May 11, 2021 at 6:17 am
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    Mrs. Honeycutt and I attend the same church right up the street. I absolutely love her acts of compassion and kindness. Thank you for sharing this beautiful story about neighborly love.

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    • May 11, 2021 at 9:06 am
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      When I saw it on Facebook, I reached out and asked if I could share. It’s just too good not too! And, y’all and your church are amazing! The most hospitable place!

      Reply
  • May 11, 2021 at 6:01 am
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    We are out of town for volleyball tournament but sending love and support for your big event. You will do great.
    Love Vicki and Jason Miller

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    • May 11, 2021 at 9:05 am
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      I will miss ya’ll! But maybe one day, I can come to speak at your parish! Good luck at volleyball!

      Reply

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