Rob and I take about 3-4 walks a day with Reagan around the big pond at the Arnold/Winnie Palmer hospital complex. During the last hospital stay I remember telling Rob, “It would stink to be one of those families who walks around this pond as the outing of the day…I don’t want to be that family.”
Yet, here we are…that family. A lot of things I didn’t want to happen have happened…
Anyway, we were on the side by Orange Ave. so the traffic was loud, and I heard this woman singing, just belting her tune across the lake. She was in a wheelchair and didn’t have any legs, she was older…not sure how old. She didn’t have many teeth either, but it didn’t stop her from smiling huge when we walked by.
A little further down was a man on a bench reading his super worn out Bible. He didn’t look completely homeless, definitely poor though, tattered stuff, a big backpack of belongings like he carried a lot of stuff with him.
And then there’s us, and our daughter who is just gazing out the side of her stroller while we walked the lake…not much expression coming from Ray Ray, but I think she liked being outside.
Earlier in the day, I went to Barnies to pick up a coffee. There were students on their laptops, some were studying with their books and highlighters close by. A couple of women were talking, laughing and carrying on.
I compared the two experiences and thought to myself, Jesus is hanging out here at the hospital. Society remains at the coffee shop…above the fray, above the marginalized, likely not even thinking about the lowliest of them…but Jesus doesn’t hang out with the popular kids. He hangs out with the lady who people probably look at in disgust b/c she doesn’t have legs or teeth, but if you get close enough, you’ll hear a beautiful voice and see a joyful smile. In that moment, I felt close to God for one of the first times since Reagan’s event. Of course, we are still crying and still mad and angry about all the things we have lost, I don’t think those tears will ever go away. But God felt close, and that was comforting, even if only for a brief moment in time.
April 13th, 2014 at 12:40 pm
Been praying for you all weekend. I found this and felt it lifted my faith. Trusting Jesus in this dark place. Your sister, your friend,…Susan
Encouragement from John Piper for today:
When it looks like he is buried for good, Jesus is doing something awesome in the dark. “The kingdom of God is like a man who scattered seed on the ground. He sleeps and rises, night and day, and the seed sprouts and grows, but he knows not how” (Mark 4:26-27).
The world thinks Jesus is done for — out of the way — but Jesus is at work in the dark places. “Unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit” (John 12:24). He let himself be buried — “no one takes my life from me” — and he will come out in power when and where he pleases — “I have power to take it again.”
“God loosed him from the pangs of death because it was not possible for him to be held by it” (Acts 2:24). Jesus has his priesthood today “by the power of an indestructible life” (Hebrews 7:16).
For twenty centuries, the world has given it their best shot — in vain. They can’t bury him. They can’t hold him in. They can’t silence him or limit him. Jesus is alive and utterly free to go and come wherever he pleases.
Trust him and go with him, no matter what. You cannot lose in the end.
April 14th, 2014 at 4:49 pm
We all at the Orlando North/Heathrow office are praying for all of you, especially Reagan. I have shared the blog so we can stay up to date. You have touched our hearts and we want you all to know that we are sending our strength to you at this terribly difficult time. God Bless your family.
April 14th, 2014 at 5:35 pm
I heard your story because it was shared on FB. My husband and I are church planters in OK. What that means is we look for places where folks aren’t hooked in to a church or maybe a special group such as young adults or cowboys who don’t fit into a traditional church. Then as The Lord asks, we start a church. I do not have a sick child. However, I am a 2 time cancer survivor that is yet again going thru multiple biopsies, because of several new tumors that have been found. God does care. Look at Job, the whole book is so full of suffering , yet Job remained steadfast. My thoughts and hopes for you all are this….that you will continue to cast your cares upon The Lord, believe in that miracle (by his stripes we are healed) sometimes instead of one huge miracle, God provides small miracles, count it as joy ….there are many times when I’m just really worn out with being sick….I read the bible and God says count is as joy because the testing of our faith develops perseverance and best if all it points others to Him! I’m lifting u guys up and know that you are pointing others to Him. I would b happy to share emails and just listen if need be. Praying encouragement and just overwhelming love and peace to your little family.