I already dove into my dinner, as I had yet to make a firm habit of my pre-meal prayers. Thankfully, Joey held out his hand to Steve and I, reminding the group that sharing a few stories, laughs and a good meal weren’t the only things we were here for.
At a high top table, In the middle of this eclectic hometown restaurant, the five of us, each having lost our beloved brides – from a few weeks to a few years prior – grasped each others’ hands. Somehow we knew that going forward, despite all the struggles we were going through, that we weren’t completely alone. At least we had each other at this moment.
Having called the group together, I led the prayer:
“Lord, thank you for bringing this group together. None of us asked to be a part of this club, and no one here at this bar would volunteer to be in our place, but this is the journey You chose for us.
We are grateful for the brothers You have seated with us, so we know we are not alone in this journey. That we can meet and rely on each other, to help find our way from the darkness of loss into the light of Your love.
Jesus, please help us to honor our late wives tonight, sharing special stories of love and family. As we reminisce, let us not just gaze backwards, but look forward to what you have planned for us next. Guide us to become better fathers to our grieving sons and daughters, better leaders to all who rely on us in business, and better friends to all who have and continue to help us and are grieving the loss as well.
And most of all Lord, help us grow from this experience in the way you intended. To find our new selves, and most of all, the new purpose that you have for us.
As men, we are driven to solve problems, and seek to do so more naturally alone than in a group. We are strong and tough. We can handle it. We are, and we can.
But this journey is a tough one, and we don’t have to be alone.
There are many others just like us – an unfortunate widowers brotherhood – who are going through the same loss, sadness and trials. Who have the same questions and concerns, and who want to know “what’s next”. This prayer was appropriate not just for our group of five, but for all of you who have had a similar loss and are grieving too.