Friday, July 28, 2006

How Do You Say Thank You?

The past several weeks have been a time of sadness, loss, fear, and hope, all mixed together in ways that are still difficult for me to express. Sadness, loss, and fear in facing the death of my Mom. Hope in seeing God's real presence in the midst of this time. Writing down my feelings is hard, and saying them seems often even harder.

But there are, among many people, two women that I must thank here, in a public way, for the way in which they have loved my parents and me is something remarkable, and quite beyond my capability to understand.

First to my wife Nancy of nearly 18 years. You are my best friend, and I cannot imagine having faced the past several weeks without you. Thank you for the many ways in which you cared for both Mom and Dad, in the little ways and in the unnoticed details. You have been to me a help, a support, a friend, and a partner. You have been present in ways I am not capable of, and through it all, you did not loose your perspective on Kingdom things, or your patience with me; your sometimes difficult spouse.

And next, to Jill, our dear family friend and Pastor-to-be. Clearly, beyond a shadow of a doubt, you are called to care for others, love the unlovely, and be a shepherd. You have loved me, my girls, my wife, and my parents in ways that speak clearly of the character of Jesus. You are kind, gracious, caring, persistent, and wonderful, all together. I am so very thankful that Nancy and I said "yes" to your need for a room, almost four years ago. We all have been blessed beyond measure.

Nancy and Jill, in just the past weeks, you have shown me more about what love means than years of reading about it, studying it, and trying to live it out. You both, in your unique way, have been Christ to me. I am forever thankful. May my life reflect that thankgiving to others.
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