March 30, 2011

Hope in the Living Room

We've been friends with another pastor and his wife in our conference for over 34 years. We've shared the births of six children between use, two weddings (theirs) and two grandchildren (theirs). And the husbands have roomed together at Annual Conference for over thirty years. Recently, their two year-old granddaughter was diagnosed with stage 4 liver cancer. Devastated doesn't even begin to touch the catastrophe. The situation is further complicated by an estrangement with the son (our friend's), daughter-in-law, and grandchild over the past five years. Our friends have seen their grandchild only twice --once at birth and once during a brief visit in their home when she was an infant. Our friends and their son/family live under ten minutes away. Visits to the hospital since the cancer diagnosis were refused by the son. So Mike and I decided to meet with them once a week, to listen to whatever they need to say and to pray. The sole purpose of our visit is for them to receive God's love through us. When we went to our friends' house last Thursday night, there were still two unwrapped Christmas presents in the living room. The son and family did not come by at Christmas or let his folks bring the gifts to his house. When I volunteered to take the boxes to my house and put them in the attic, our friends replied, "No, we have hope." I couldn't get the boxes from my mind, because they seemed to represent much more than Christmas presents and hope--they are boxes of love, thoughtfulness, everything that represents parents loving children and grandchildren. These gifts say, "We love you no matter what," "you are special to us," and "We won't give up." When I looked in the dictionary for a definition of hope, I read, "The feeling that what is wanted can be had or that events will turn out for the best." "That fits!" I thought. So this week when I go to their house I will write the definition on one of the boxes so that when they see these each day, our dear friends can see "hope" instead of sadness, regret, anger, and confusion. What does God say? "May the God of hope fill you with all peace and joy in believing, that you may always abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." Romans 15:13. God, I feel certain that there are many families suffering from estrangement in some form. I pray for reconciliation and new vision for these persons. All of this is possible when we, your children, live in hope and in you. Amen. Please pray for them all. Jacquie Reed, Fishers, Indiana

No comments:

Post a Comment