At the cabin. Sun is shining. Birds are chirping. Gentle breezes. Quiet. Peaceful. Painting supplies ready to go. All is well in my world.
Then I remembered Heather.
We attend a small church when we’re at the cabin. It doesn’t have the million dollar budget my home church does.
At one point a young woman stood up and started thanking the church for supporting her with her MS diagnosis she had received last July. I could tell her condition was deteriorating rapidly.
But that wasn’t all.
She asked for continued prayers as she was leaving this week for a long hospital stay (six months) for her twelve month old son (Gabriel)who was just diagnosed with cancer. (By the way, do the math as to her diagnosis and the birth of her son.)
What was remarkable was how she shared her story. She didn’t try to sound heroic as so many Christians do. She was scared but trusting God anyway. She was the “real deal” and trust me, I can spot a phony a mile away.
My husband and I just about lost it.
Then I remembered my last post about how exhausted I was from all we’d been doing. But before I went too far down that path, I remembered that Jesus encourages us to live a life of overflowing joy. Even when I’m confronted with the suffering of another?
You see I’ve been under some pretty menacing clouds myself, the details of which will always be known only to me. There have been some clouds since then, too. And I’ll bet that Heather has had her share of sunny days as well. ( hope so.)
So how to make any sense of all this Well, I can’t. Neither can anyone else.
But here’s what I think.
I think we are compelled to respond in some way every time God so obviously puts someone who is in need in our path. My husband and I had almost decided to have our devotions at the cabin rather than attend church that day. But somehow we both knew we should go. Now we know why.
One of the reasons is to ask all of you who believe in prayer to remember Heather and Gabriel often in yours over the next six months.
For my husband and I, it also means doing something concrete. I hope to connect personally with this young person if possible. I am hoping the church will have some way for people to give financially. I will certainly let you known if that happens.
Times like this remind us to think before we complain, to constantly be reminded of our blessings, trite as that sounds. I firmly believe, “The examined life is the only life worth living.” We all need to take stock of our lives and our values now and then. Examining ourselves may not be fun but is necessary for growth.
God bless and please remember Heather.