Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Seasons Change

The fall color right now is spectacular ... S - P - E - C - T - A - C - U - L - A - R !
I have watched this tree change color over the past weeks as I walked Jump and Joy. They are oblivious to the beauty around us. Well, that's not completely true. They have watched the increasing number of squirrels storing up nuts and the like for their winter reserves. This has ushered in another new season for me. I need to be on "squirrel alert" as I walk my two "squirrels". This has caused me to consider this new season that slowly unfolds before me.

Last Thursday, my friend Martha and Team Martha* seemed to be at the end of a season. Her doctors here told her they had nothing more that they could do to help her win her battle again AML. BUT ... what a great word to give hope ... BUT ... there was a doctor in another hospital who may have ... something? So, off went Martha, and yesterday she got the news that there are more than one options for her! She may still be in this season of battling AML BUT there are other things that can be tried to win this battle! Same battle but a new season ... with renewed and greater hopefulness.
As I walk through my own season of looking for full-time employment, I want to be more like Martha. I want to be more like Jump and Joy. I want to walk in hopefulness ... even if I can't see the way ahead. I need to be on full "squirrel alert" in order to see the change of season, to see the different ways God is at work on my behalf ... because He is working. He is. This change of season means I continue to put my faith and hope in His unfailing, faithful, chesed love ... because it is unchanging.

I started thinking about this season change when I went through the Pittsburgh Airport a few weeks ago. Every time you ascend the escalator to the gates this is what you see:
Yep! You see T-Rex in all his glory. Here is someone who had trouble adapting to a change of season. As I passed him, I thought to myself that I don't want to become like him. I don't want to break under the change of seasons and become fossilized. This requires what I mentioned before ... being on "squirrel alert" for the ways God is working on our behalf and to hope in God's unfailing love.

The LORD delights in those who fear him, who put their hope in his unfailing love.
Psalm 147:11

*My name for those of us who are walking with her through her season of battling acute myloid leukemia (AML).

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Eucharisteo - Remembering Corrie

How do we remember Corrie? Such a big person in such a small package, her life compressed into such a short time. It made her a full-fledged time and again day-to-day miracle. She didn’t think of herself as a miracle. I mean … she knew that she was living each day because of God’s miraculous work in her life … but she didn’t think of herself as a miracle. … But, she was a miracle, she was. She was a miracle for each one of us because of the way she lived her life and in her generous spirit, shared herself with us … she let all of us be a part of the miracle of her life.

So, how do we remember this miracle called Corrie?
The first word that comes to mind is COURAGE. Within the first few months of meeting Corrie I asked her if she wanted to drive with me to IKEA to purchase some supplies for the church. IKEA Atlanta. She showed up with a full bag of her own supplies just in case anything went awry and also knew where the closest hospitals were located along our route. And, off we went. What I didn’t know at the time was that Corrie hadn’t been off the island since her initial surgery let alone a 10-hour round-trip to Atlanta! It took great courage for her to do that. Time and again Corrie pushed herself outside of her fear … in order to live life … most recently buying a scooter to go back and forth to the beach. It’s parked in the Meyer’s garage.

The second word for Corrie is COMFORT. Corrie took comfort in knowing Jesus her Savior and Friend. She loves Jesus. And, yes I use the word love in the present tense. While she lived among us she looked to Him for help and strength, for purpose and hope. Through her prayers and in her worship, in her serving she relied on Jesus … for her life. She took great comfort in Him … and showed us how to do the same. And, now … in the present tense … she sees him face to face and she loves Him. That is her greatest comfort.

And, my last word? COLOR. It’s the best “C” word I could come up with for her joy, happiness, and delight! Whenever Corrie greeted me she would fling out her arms, phone in hand and cry out “DeVaticus!” … All those nicknames she had for us: Shannie, Joogles, Neeser. … Such joy she had. And her greater gift of joy was being with the St. Luke’s children and youth. Godly Play, Backyard Bible, Sunday School, Wednesday Family Night, Middle School … teaching them, laughing with them, loving them, … giving them her joy … in Jesus Name. She so loved you all and wanted you to know her greatest love … Jesus.

So, how will we remember Corrie? Let’s live with COURAGE, pushing ourselves outside our fear … in order to live life! Let’s live that life in the COMFORT of knowing Jesus, relying on Him for help and strength, for purpose and hope. And, let’s share with one another the COLOR, the joy of loving in Jesus’ Name. When we live like that, we remember Corrie. AMEN? AMEN!

Monday, September 15, 2014

In Memory of My Good Friend, Corrie

Shannon with Corrie sending me a hello photo...
That's Corrie on the right. I think Corrie's middle name was Joy. When she greeted you it wasn't a demure, "Hello" it was an exclamation of your name with her joy and gladness spilling over at seeing you. It makes me smile just thinking about how she called out, "DeVaty!" in the Ministry Center, across the parking lot, and even on our phone calls.

Corrie would do anything for you ... even if it cost her time and energy, which for Corrie was a very big gift. Her illnesses often left her with little energy ... sometimes difficult to get out of bed in the morning ... but if you had a need and Corrie could help, she would make herself do it ... spending herself for you. What a gift. Corrie was a gift to us and remains a gift. Her life will continue to urge us on to love and good deeds in the Name of Jesus.

She is now dancing with joy around His throne ... probably with her earphones in and on ... and through our tears and sadness at our loss we dance with her, rejoicing that she is now free of pain and struggle and full of the joy she spread while she was with us.

Thank you Corrie for all you gave and will continue to give us. Praise be to God for Corrie Meyer, our friend of Joy and Gladness.

Saturday, September 6, 2014

Sam: A Lesson in Waiting at the Ready

This is Sam.
He has chased a squirrel up a tree. He has been at his tree post for quite some time ... standing and watching and waiting for another view of the squirrel. On occasion, he will jump up onto the trunk of the tree, straining to see into the branches. Maybe that squirrel is hiding there? Maybe that squirrel is going to make a leap for the fence? Maybe that squirrel will come within reach and ... he'll have him!

This is the squirrel.
Can you see him up there on the garage roof? He's watching Sam from his very secure perch. Sam cannot see him.
As I watched Sam and this squirrel play out their morning ritual, I was reminded of what it is to wait ... ready for action. Sam will stay at the base of that tree watching and waiting and circling and sitting and ... at the ready ... until he is called into the house. If you look closely at the picture his tail is wagging. He is waiting with great anticipation ... joy even! ... at what is coming. He knows that the chase of this squirrel will end ... one day ... in such fun. It may not be fun for the squirrel, but it will be for Sam!

Shouldn't we wait this way for what God has for us? Shouldn't we watch for how God is working, circle around all the things that happen and look for his handiwork? Shouldn't we sit and listen for His movement ... even when we don't see or hear Him? And, most importantly ... shouldn't we do this with joy, knowing that our Father in heaven delights to give us all good things? Yes, we should. And, we need to do it because it gives us hope for all that God wants to give to us.

Sunday's readings include the passage from Exodus about the institution of the Passover as a feast of remembrance ... a remembrance of God's salvation. Our Great Thanksgiving is that remembrance of God's saving act through the sacrifice of Jesus His Son and our Savior. He is our hope in all things and through all things. The ritual of the Great Thanksgiving is worth waiting and watching and circling and sitting at the ready ... to celebrate. Because it is in the Eucharist that we find our hope ... our Hope in Jesus. And, He is our Joy.