Got Them

February 25, 2015

I smiled this week as I opened my email and saw the name of a couple I have not seen in years. They just contributed to our fund for our son, and it brought tears to my eyes to see that somehow they had heard of our situation and thought, after all these years, to give so graciously to what we are battling.

This couple is incredible. They are kind people with hearts that love Jesus. Richard with his quiet manner and Nancy with her heartfelt thoughts. They are gracious and kind, generous and honest. I have many memories of them- including one of my favorite dinnertime conversations of all time- but there is one that is at the top of the list. That memory goes like this:

When we had entered our Dark Night of the Soul, we had many people who said many things to us. Some meant more than others. No one in our lives at that time truly understood the magnitude of what we were managing at the time, but many tried their best to offer encouragement and strength.

One day, after worship was done, everyone was gathered in the odd-shaped space that held our coffee bar, talking and chatting and doing what they did every Sunday after we were done with prayers and preaching, songs and sermon. I was standing off to the side, tired. Most pastors are tired after preaching, but for me it was more than that. It took an large amount of work to preach during the Dark Night of the Soul season. No one really knew how much effort it required for me. No one, it seemed, except for Nancy. Read the rest of this entry »

Day By Day

February 13, 2015

I woke to the crushing reality that my son was already up. This is not good since it is way too early in the morning, but sometimes when his stomach hurts, he can’t sleep much. So he wakes up early. Too early for a 4 year old. Too early for his parents.

It will be a long day.

Waking up to the weight of the day is not easy. This stands in stark contrast to the mornings I wake filled with the light of morning and the joy of what lies ahead. But some days, like this day, I know that it will be a hard day. A day of watching a child move in pain and unable to clearly express his needs. A day of long (way too long) hours. A day where I know I will not eat a solid meal because my son will need me so much. A day where the quiet will snatch at my mind, creating a hole of worry that will threaten to grow big and explode by nightfall.

So as I heaved myself from bed, feeling heavy under the day, the Spirit began to sing to me. I know it may seem weird, but very often that is how God speaks to me. Through music, through lyric, through harkening me back to the songs I have stored somewhere in my soul. I know now when it is God speaking in those moments and when it is just me. Whenever a song or a lyric or a line comes to me without me having to even think, without me having to even ask, almost as though God anticipated my thoughts and answered them before I even knew to speak the question- that is when I know the Spirit is speaking to me. And that I should listen.  Read the rest of this entry »

New Things

February 10, 2015

The Colorado air this February is warm, and though I know that we may still get a couple wintry blasts of snow before spring truly arrives, today it feels like the seasons are changing. There is little that compares to the bright blue of a Colorado sky. And on days like today it feels like the sky goes on for miles and miles, spotlighted by the bright warmth of the sun, as it makes its way toward the western mountains.

The breeze is sweet and carries occasionally the fragrance of the maple trees just beginning to blossom, fooled by the warm air into thinking winter is gone and it is time to adorn themselves in their large leaves. I hear the honeybees emerging from their winter hives to taste the sap that is starting to flow in those trees, taking every opportunity to collect their precious pollen to feed their young, even if in a few weeks they may end up shuttered inside again braced against the spring snow storms that may come.

When I was a child, the change from winter to spring was my favorite time of year. For some reason, each year as I saw the early spring crocuses lift their sleepy heads from the soil, something inside of me emerged too. I remember spending time alone outside, reveling in the sun and blue sky, feeling this jumping in my soul that had little language, but spoke deeply to something inside of me. Spring always meant new. The air felt full with the possibilities of new life.

And years later, I still feel it. The freshness of open windows blowing out the stale dust build up over winter. The hope that there will be something, something, something coming. Anticipation and excitement and awe all wrapped into a ball of knowing that in these days of change, Someone is stirring up something new.  Read the rest of this entry »

The story goes that when Dallas Theological Seminary opened, it faced tremendous financial problems to the point of nearly closing in bankruptcy. One day, the faculty gathered to pray that God would provide. Harry Ironside, one of the lecturers at the Seminary, prayed this prayer from Psalm 50:10: “Lord we know you own the cattle on a thousand hills. Please sell some of them, and send us the money.”

The legend continues to explain that during that prayer meeting, the secretary to the President of the Seminary knocked on the door and handed them a check that had just come in. Some stories say that it was from a businessman, but others say it was from a cattle rancher in Texas. Regardless, apparently in that moment, God answered Harry’s prayer by “selling some cattle.”

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Sometimes God sells a herd of cattle all at once. Sometimes he sells one at a time.  Read the rest of this entry »

Our Eyes Are On You

February 6, 2015

It’s a weird reality for me. This awe at how the human body is created to work, making clear to me that we are no accident, that we were shaped and formed by Hands larger than our own, by the wisdom of God who far exceeds us. “I am fearfully and wonderfully made,” sings the Psalmist. And so we are… as I learn about bacteria, their abilities and their pathogenic responses. As I learn about neurotransmitters in the gut that match the ones in the brain and as I read about how healing happens biologically. One the one hand I hold this immense awe of a Creator who fashioned such tiny things as mitochondria and cells, living creatures and microbes. On the other hand, I hold the weariness of devastation.

My son has a new infection.

The good news is that it is not the same infection as before… the three times before, to be exact. This is good because that previous infection (and it’s return two subsequent times) was a nasty one. That family of bacteria is devastatingly bad when it grows rampant. This new bacteria is not as terrible, but this new infection is bad because… it just is. A little 4 year old body has been ravaged 4 times now with this sort of thing.

Of course, it’s made worse by the reality that what works for others when they encounter an infection is not as easy for us. For others, they simply go get an antibiotic. But what do you do when antibiotics cause these infections? When another round of them would open the doors and put out the welcome mat for that bad mamma jamma bacterial infection we have battled three times already- the one with devastating effect? When no amount of probiotics and other measures guarantees safety?

So we are left with a shrug in response to “what will we do?” Because right now, there is no clear answer. His doctor is not wanting to do medication to beat this new inhabitant in my son’s gut. We get that. We totally do. But what now?

Silence from every angle. Including our own corner. Read the rest of this entry »