If I count up the number of meals I've eaten in the last two weeks, it would not divide out to be three a day. If I added the number of hours of sleep I've gotten, it would not be anywhere near eight-hours a night. If I blogged every God moment I've had in the last two weeks, my blog would be updated infinitely more often than anyone would read it (that is assuming people actually read it as is). All of those missed meals and lack of sleep were worth being the hands and feet of Christ.
Except today I write with a heavy heart. Within four hours of returning home, I was hit with four different life-altering scenarios.
1. A professor, emailing me for a different reason, shared that one of her close friends is dying of cancer. Why the professor felt the need to share this, I may never know, but it took the smile from my tired face as my heart broke for her.
2. My mom has a self-diagnosed broken toe. That's not pretty. She's hobbling around with only one shoe on. Maybe not life-altering, but we drink our milk and have few broken bones, so it's a big deal.
3. One of my pastors and his wife were in a serious car accident. Both are in their seventies and were admitted to the hospital. It's my understanding that they have since been released with only lacerations and contusions; no broken bones or major injuries. Alleluia!
4. A close family friend had breast cancer surgery while we were gone. It has not metastasized but she has a long road ahead of her. The oldest of their four children just graduated high school this June.
We were still living in the old house when I noticed four names scribbled in the margin of a piece of paper on the table. It was my first experience with some people that would become important in my life over the next eleven years (and counting). We added a few more names to the group until we had a party of fifteen.
I think it's safe to say we've spent a lot of time together. From the water ski show to snow skiing. From pool parties and bonfires to trips to the lake. It was Christina who pushed Uncle Steve into our pool in his nice golf uniform. When Laura earned herself an ambulance ride, Christina and I were sent to their house at 6am. When I went to college, they all came over the night before to say goodbye.
The day we got home from the NYG, Mom said she was taking them dinner. Instantly I wondered who died. Great-grandma? Grandma? Not grandpa, he was just flipping around in a moon bounce a month ago. No one died. Sue had breast cancer surgery. What? She too was in the moon bounce a month ago.
On Friday, we went to a baseball game in the skybox, a perk of my dad's job and a trip that's been planned for months. I wondered what to say. Would cancer be the topic of conversation all night? Would we brush it under the rug like it hadn't happened?
I'm not so much into baseball, so I love when we have the box because it means I can curl up on the couch with a plate of mozzarella sticks and a good book. From my couch, I can observe. I saw seven of the nine kids (one was MIA; one was me) sitting in the front row laughing and teasing each other. I saw the three women in the middle row talking about anything and everything. I saw the three men--all wearing black shirts, khaki shorts, and no shoes--turn a baseball game into a betting game. I did not see the peanuts launched over shoulders in my general direction until they collided with my face. Thanks.
I saw the concern. The genuine, "Let us know if you need anything." I also saw the smiles. Together this group of friends would push through. For this next season of life we will laugh, cry, and pray together. We can acknowledge the elephant in the room without constantly staring at it.
Our team won the baseball game that night, but I cannot wait until the day when I say our family won the battle. Maybe we'll celebrate with some brownie soup.
Until then, will you join us in prayer?