Sunday, December 16, 2012

God WITH us

Dear Friends,

I spoke briefly with Gay yesterday and she sounded leagues better than when I left last Sunday. She is expected to go home at the end of this next week. She continues to gain strength in her various forms of therapy. She is very grateful for all of the love and support she has received from so many loved ones.

I'm weary this evening as I write. It's not a physical fatigue. It's that kind of soul-aching for others that makes even the simplest of tasks cumbersome. Words are not flowing because I simply cannot find a place in me that can comprehend the horrific event on Friday in Connecticut. The magnitude of one event.

I am still in shock that my mother has breast cancer--the same kind my sister had 7 years ago. I cannot believe that one of Annie Beth's best eleven year old friends has a rare disease that has caused an aneurysm in her heart. I listen as a friend tells of a funeral of a 19 year old killed in a car accident. I paused at the mall and saw hundreds of left over tags on an angel Christmas tree--representations of children who won't have anything under the tree. Then moments later saw a line zigzagging across and outside The Coach Store. Most people, I noticed were buying multiple purses that cost hundreds of dollars apiece.

Everywhere I look there is suffering. The  "most wonderful time of the year?" Who wrote that song anyway?This is one of those times when, if circumstances were different, I'd have called Gay and said, "Gay, can you help me understand?"

I've read several compassionate and comforting responses from some respected writers. I'd like to quote a prayer that Max Lucado published in The Huffington Post :

Dear Jesus,
It's a good thing you were born at night. This world sure seems dark. I have a good eye for silver linings. But they seem dimmer lately.
These killings, Lord. These children, Lord. Innocence violated. Raw evil demonstrated.
The whole world seems on edge. Trigger-happy. Ticked off. We hear threats of chemical weapons and nuclear bombs. Are we one button-push away from annihilation?
Your world seems a bit darker this Christmas. But you were born in the dark, right? You came at night. The shepherds were nightshift workers. The Wise Men followed a star. Your first cries were heard in the shadows. To see your face, Mary and Joseph needed a candle flame. It was dark. Dark with Herod's jealousy. Dark with Roman oppression. Dark with poverty. Dark with violence.
Herod went on a rampage, killing babies. Joseph took you and your mom into Egypt. You were an immigrant before you were a Nazarene.
Oh, Lord Jesus, you entered the dark world of your day. Won't you enter ours? We are weary of bloodshed. We, like the wise men, are looking for a star. We, like the shepherds, are kneeling at a manger.
This Christmas, we ask you, heal us, help us, be born anew in us.
Your Children

I join with Max Lucado and call upon Emmanuel, God with us. And in His with-ing He calls on us to partner with Him. Astonishing.

I cannot be in Denver. But, in His with-ing, God assures me that Gay is not alone. She is beloved by countless people who will, in any way possible, help. 

I do not live in Connecticut. I can ask Emmanuel to be with each person left behind--that His with-ing would be supernatural and tangible.

I cannot diminish the loss and fear that as a family we all feel for my mother. I can, however, thank God that she does not require chemotherapy. I am comforted as well that the Holy Spirit lives within Mom.

I am ineffably grateful that we serve a God that loves us so much that He came into this evil and broken world to be with us.

I also pray, "Even so, come, Lord Jesus." Come take us home with you.

As Gay would say, "Thinking with you about how God is with us and how we can be an expression of His with-ing. See you next week."

Blessings to each of you. ~lori


  1. Lori,
    Thank You for the posts you are publishing for Gay! This has been such a painful weekend. I am thankful for Spiritual guides such as Gay and for her book, "More Than An Aspirin".

  2. Thanks Jim for posting the link to her book. What a GREAT idea---so glad you thought of it. ~Lori

  3. Dear Lori:
    Thank you for your beautiful writings. I am finally writing on here cause I want Gay to know how much I am praying and thinking of her. I sent a card and unfortunately, I only know how to find my own way to her house - apparently a letter does not!!! Then I tried to call and found (thankfully) that her phone is blocked of all messages. I absolutely love the pictures of Gay with Miss Annie. I was so happy to hear they could visit together! All I can say is it so comforting to hear that Gay is doing so well...I look forward to seeing her in January. A very Merry Christmas and renewed sense of life and love. Lois W

    1. Lori, Thank you for all of the caregiving you do . . . for Gay and for your own family. I am so sorry for the struggles you are going through at this time. I hope you find peace and comfort in the midst of it all. Thank you for taking the time to keep us updated about Gay. Take good care of yourself!


    2. Deb,
      Thanks for your kind words and encouragement. I have been comforted by Emmanuel in ways that surprised me this week. Thank YOU for your ministry to Gay. ~lori