A few weeks ago, we went to the funeral of a member of our film family. His sudden death caught everyone by surprise. There was an incredible outpouring of love and support for his wife and four young children. We heard story after story of how people rallied around them, loving hands reaching and helping and lifting them up as the shock of it all threatened to weigh them down. He was known for his love of Hawaiian shirts (and his distaste for ties) so his wife requested that similar shirts be worn to the service. It was a tender show of love that filled that church with a sea of Hawaiian attire.
We couldn’t take away the pain or the loss or the inevitable helplessness that his family was feeling, but we could show our love and support, a spot of brightness in an otherwise surreal day, by wearing a simple shirt. His wife’s father, knowing that she was bound to be focused on the casket in the front of the room, had her stand up and turn around and notice all the points of love represented in Hawaiian shirts. In the midst of her loneliness, she was not alone.
We can’t always, if ever, predict when the storms of life will hit, only that they will come. The Savior taught us that the rain descended and the floods came and the winds blew and beat upon both houses. It was where the foundation was built that made the difference in whether the house fell or not.
Storms point out the lights around us because they shine more brightly in the darkness. We notice them and are glad for the light they give as they glow steady in the swirling wind and rain when we are searching for shelter from that which beats upon us.
I will always remember those points of light clothed in Hawaiian shirts seeking to give strength and encouragement, and most of all love. I am forever blessed that they have chosen to let their light so shine and that I can call them friends.