As our friend visited with me in the kitchen yesterday, I was so profoundly touched by the way God uses incidents in people’s lives to touch the body, to move the body and to soften the body of Christ. She was relating how the life of a fine young man in their church family was facing cancer surgery on Friday. She had been looking after their little children and was so saddened by the trial this young family faced. in addition, she was relating how another brother in the body was in grave condition with some sort of blood or intestinal infection that had so suddenly brought him to the brink of death. I knew of the situation with the first and was so saddened to hear of the second.
I was making cookies… Valentines. I was lost in thoughts of sadness for my friend – for her family… whose boy died in a tragic auto accident a few years ago. Her Valentine baby. He would have been 25 yesterday. I never forget that boy’s birthday and I will never forget the day he died… the calendar date happened to be our second son’s birthday. They had been friends as little boys and I knew in my heart that this boy’s death would profoundly affect my boy. I do not question, and yet I will never understand, God’s decision to take that one home and to not take my boy – though he’d been in innumerable situations that could’ve taken his life compared to the one situation that took that boy’s life. I see him in the theater of my mind as I reflect on the little boys in the Sunday school class many years ago… then in AWANA together. Again, many years ago. But it’s almost like yesterday and I know the mama feels that way, too. It all goes so fast.
Another friend came by and as we stood there talking, we commented that we both marveled at the number of tragedies, the number of sick and dying – the bizarre cases. It’s all so tragic and painful to consider. But God – But God who is rich in mercy.
A mail just came through and it was regarding this young man – this young man, the husband of a beautiful wife, the father of two children, a loyal son and a faithful follower of Jesus Christ. He faces surgery tomorrow at the University of Washington. I suppose, were I to be facing surgery, that’s just where I’d want to be treated. It’s amazing to me how the LORD has circles intersect and it’s those intersections that make us aware of the lives those people are touching as well. They then become part of lives we’re intersecting and the body of Christ is seen in the broader spectrum – all over the world the lives of men and women are being touched because of the pain and plight of one brother. But it’s not just one brother because the lives touching that life all have stories and circles of their own and each one is dealing with a matter that only the LORD knows and can carry. In fact on his blog, he relates his love for the brother in the dire condition and though he is facing tremendous challenges ahead, his heart is touched to its core by the plight of the brother.
Interestingly, our friend sent out a second mail for prayer for the one suffering the unknown infection. Circles. More intersections. God is sooooo good. All the time.
On my desk: today’s mail… there are two envelopes… one is a “thank you” for a wedding gift; and the other, a wedding invitation. My neighbor, a young mother of a brand new baby drives by my window. New life. New lives as one. New hopes and dreams. I pray for them. I pray God’s tender mercy over each of them for they will no doubt face trials and tragedies of their own. Sorrow skips no home.
I marveled at the timing of the reciept of the wedding invitation… thinking of some of that family’s history… the groom is the brother of a young man who died three years ago tomorrow. A tragedy – a sudden, instantaneous loss of a strong, hard working young man. Then, I marveled again over the cancer condition and the grave medical concern of the other I described earlier – these no doubt touch the sender of the “thank you” card. Then I thought of the extended family of the groom to be, for they are in the same body of believers. More circles. More lives intersecting. More intersecting circles.
Pray for Erik… in grave unknown medical condition.
Pray for Andrew… facing surgery for mouth cancer tomorrow (2/16)
And all those who are obviously connected in those circles… circles of grief; circles of joy. Intersecting circles.