, , , ,

Looking forward with anticipation is almost as much fun as the arrival of the much-anticipated event.  In less than a week, we will all – all eight of us – be headed to Hawaii for Thomas’ Make-A-Wish trip.   I will never forget the day in the hospital when the nurse who was caring for Thomas that day, in an effort to cheer him up, told him about Make-A-Wish.  Thomas had just had a traumatic experience in the ER where he had received the incorrect feeding tube, a huge feeding tube down his nose.  He had lost weight, he wasn’t eating and we were in the hospital again for the third time.  It was a low, low time for him and he was very discouraged.  When he heard the stories of other children and their wishes, I could see the wheels turning in his mind and it immediately gave him something tangible to hope for in the midst of his discouragement.  I know this is why the foundation exists and their generosity and good will to children facing life-threatening illnesses is beautiful.  We feel incredibly blessed to receive this amazing time together.  What a gift!

In the meantime we have all avoided the hospital and doctors.  Yes!  We are in full swing with school and activities.  Titus is doing his best to destroy my house on a daily basis; I appreciate his contribution to my work ethic.  The girls’ sewing adventures yielded fantastic Halloween costumes and Mark and I scored ours in the operating room.     I am not a big fan of Halloween but we joined in the dressing-up this year because we thought the costumes a fitting symbol of our year.  And then came All Saints’ Day, the day Halloween was intended preparation for.  I love this celebration in the church year, a day to remember the saints who have traveled these very same paths before, who completed the race with grace and perseverance.  I made my kids sing every verse to For All The Saints and we talked about the reality of the unseen, that what is unseen is actually more real, more truly in essence itself than what our eyes perceive.  We read Hebrews 11 and then these verses…

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God. (Hebrews 12:1-3 ESV)

Thomas commented, “Oh, so it is like a relay race.  They handed us the baton and now we are running.”

I had never thought of it in that way; I had thought of the great cloud cheering us on, but yes, it is a relay race and we are holding the baton, seeking to complete our leg of the journey.  As the song says, “O blest communion, fellowship divine.  We feebly struggle, they in glory shine.  Yet all are one in Thee for all are Thine.  Alleluia!”  These days of every-day life, no health crises – just the normal friction in relationships, working to understand each other, seeking to lay aside petty encumbrances are the miles of our race.  I think these miles of our race in between the crises are actually the hardest to run with perseverance.  When tragedy and adversity come, God gives equal grace and mercy to sustain and bring life.  I know the same mercy is available to me now in the quiet.  It is only my lack of soul-poverty that prevents me from receiving it.  It is my prayer that in the quiet days my soul would remain open to the love of God, that I would seek with anticipation His presence and ultimately, the completion of the race.  Oh, the joy when finally we see with certainty the true reality for which our souls have longed.

Our quiet days…