The misty-green crystal goblet reflected the flickering embers in Susan’s fireplace on that cold December evening. The chill of the room had awakened Susan and as she pulled the tight-knit shawl closer to her body, she lifted her eyes toward the goblet.
Earlier in the evening, she had carefully placed the delicate goblet, her most cherished possession, on the dark mahogany end table beside her favorite chair, a yearly ritual she had been following since the light of her life, her beloved husband Joe, had died tragically in an auto accident fourteen years earlier. Only on the anniversary date of their wedding, did Susan remove the goblet from its safe location in her china cupboard and allow the memories to take her back to their wedding day and the two goblets they had used to toast their future as man and wife.
The happy occasion had been momentarily shattered by the breaking of Susan’s goblet, for as she lifted it toward Joe, it had glanced against a silver candlestick, breaking into a hundred glistening shards of crystal which sprinkled across the white damask tablecloth like so many pieces of confetti.
For the remainder of their marriage, Joe and Susan had protected the remaining goblet, treating it as though it was the Hope Diamond. They kept it safely within the china cupboard, and brought it out only once a year…on their wedding anniversary.
Following Joe’s death, the goblet’s presence provided much comfort to Susan, and she would look at it longingly each time she passed by the china closet, reminding herself of the wonderful marriage they had shared.
It seemed perfectly natural to her to continue to remove it on their special day each year, and this particular winter day in December marking their fortieth wedding anniversary was especially emotional for her.
Susan had drifted off to sleep cuddled against her soft white angora kitten, Angi, and soon was dreaming of what “might have been.” Now, roused from her sleep, she gently tugged at her cat. Angi yawned and stretched before pouncing to the floor. Her favorite spot, aside from Susan’s lap, was the oriental throw rug near the hearth, and it was beckoning her. She silently padded her way toward the remaining source of heat in the fireplace, now only glowing embers, and settled down contentedly.
“Oh, Angi”, Susan said, “I am so lonely for him tonight.”
Susan stood up and ever so gently removed the goblet from its place beside her chair. Caressing the silken smoothness of the crystal, she finally allowed herself to cry. A single tear landed on the inside of the goblet and slowly slid downward.
“You know, Lord, my heart is breaking tonight”, she cried, as she dabbed at the tear in the goblet. “Please send me a word of comfort…I feel so all alone. I know you understand how much my heart is aching. Thank you for answering my prayer.”
Later that evening, as Susan prepared for bed, she picked up her Bible, hoping to find just the perfect words of comfort. As she did, a pressed flower, a pansy, peeked out from between the pages. Opening the Bible in order to replace the flower, her eyes spotted a highlighted scripture. Years before, a friend had written these same words of comfort on a sympathy card after Joe had died. Not wanting to forget this special scripture, she had highlighted it and placed the dried pansy there to mark the place.
She read the words aloud and received that perfect comfort once again.
The Lord is close to the brokenhearted…Psalm 34:18 (The Living Bible)
“Oh, thank you, Lord for blessing me tonight and for the comfort of your Word. Thank you that you heard my cry and understand my sorrow. I am so grateful for your unending and healing love. Amen.”
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