Our family spent the evening at the home of some good friends from church tonight. We have know n this couple for more than 15 years, and they have two daughters similar in age to ours - so that makes for lots of girlie-girl humor. Did you also know that knitting is quite the rage amongest teenage girls? Well, there, see what you learn here. Priceless tidbits of drivel!
Anyway, after all the silly girls left the table to go watch Disney channel, we adults lingered a while, to discuss the pain and heartache being faced by a dear family at our church. This young couple, Tony and Julie, along with their two young children, are struggling with the massive weight of a recurrence of cancer for Julie. The first time Julie had cancer was more than five years ago, and she (and the Lord) beat it. For a while. It has come back, and this time, more seriously. So many of us, friends, brothers and sisters in Christ, fellow workers, and extended family have been praying for Julie's healing since last summer. The prayers never seem to stop. It is constant. When we wake, when we go to sleep, when we are driving, doing the laundry - always, "Lord, be with Julie and heal her, give Peace to Tony and the kids..."
I wrote to my Pastor friend, Mark Roberts recently, and asked him, "Does any of this make any sense to you?" His reply, "This side of Heaven, no". Which leads me to sharing this post, and a significant quote from it with you - its about this strange "in-between" life we lead here on earth, and is from Pastor Steve McMillan's blog - Steve lost a child nearly 7 years ago, and reflects on the loss....... and the mystery of this life we lead:
"I yearn for more than a son that doesn't die. I want something beyond just having my shattered dreams pieced together. I long for more than an answer to why some babies are stitched up wrong. I'm parched for something that I've lost and that I hope someday to find but I'm not sure what that something is. I grieve for my son who died and at the same time I realize my grieving goes even deeper. I mourn my homeless-ness. I grieve having to live where I don'y fit. I feel so much like a stranger - like I am not really welcome here - as if most of me doesn't belong in this space and this time. This longing is for something and at it's most consuming moments I swear I can hear inside of it a faint echo, like a lingering aroma or a shimmering mirage, it is too painful and beautiful to grasp and yet I long for it with all my heart. It is both scary and wonderful and I don't know what to do with it. I don't know if this is what Solomon calls eternity in my heart or if it is just my hope that it is. I don't know if my longing is the rumour of another world or just my frustration with who I am in this one. I'm not sure if I'm still grieving the loss of a dream or if I'm being given a new one. "
This is a fragile and temporary life we lead. Each day. Like Steve, I don't know much either. May we all seek, with all our hearts, the ability to better hear that echo; to see that dream.
Pray for peace and healing for Tony and Julie.