An exhausting day. Visitation is Thursday at Living Hope from 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. We will have visitation again beginning Friday at 10:00 a.m., and the funeral service at 1:00 p.m., also at Living Hope.
Over the next few days I am going to discuss spiritual issues, but I want to write about heroes again today.
The heroes are small group moms, my small group, my church family, and our close friends. Everyone came together like a well-drilled team. My son Caleb is in a very tight group of teens at church. They have been with him almost around the clock since last Thursday.
The moms in that group stayed with them at the hospital for hours while folks brought scads of food into the huge conference room the hospital set aside for us. What a relief for my wife and I. I am so thankful for Leigh Anne, Kim, Lisa, Betsy, Karen, Debbie, Leslie, and others for kicking into high gear and watching the gang. And, of course, thanks to Hoss, our teen minister, who neglected his own family for days to sit with the gang. (We call him Hoss because he is a dead ringer for Dan Blocker, who used to play Hoss on the Bonanza series.) These folks are all heros, although I know it embarrases them to be called that.
The reason this is so important is because dozens of teens came through that room, many unchurched. They got to watch what really was a party, not some sort of death watch. They had to wonder why.
So did all of the people going up and down the halls at the hospital who looked in, and wondered what the three day festival was all about.
My own small group has been together for a long time. The small group theoreticians say that most groups last about two years or so, and then become stale and should disband. Not us. We haven't been able to bring ourselves to dissolve; we did for a while, and it didn't work. Instead, our relationships have matured and deepend, and my wife's death has brought us even closer.
The ladies have organized , come in and cleaned house, looked after us, given good advice, and joyously jumped in and helped organize all of the hundreds of funeral activities. Thanks to all of them so very much. Sisterly love in Christ is the best, and that comes from a guy who has grown a lot emotionally even in the last six months. They are heros.
And it goes on. My wife had so many other dear girlfriends. One of them just left after helping look through scads of photos so we can have a digital montage at Church. She and her husband worked trielessly at hospital to direct people around, see to the little things, and turn tragedy into God's glory. Others are making sure we get hot meals, and I am told we are booked though April! Cool! They are all heros.
I can keep going, and I know I am overlooking others. Please know I love and thank you all. You are heros.
This is the Gospel. We can talk about the Gospel all we want, but I promise you that if we live it people will notice that much much more than anything we can ever say or pontificate about. I am seeing it right now, and what an extraordinary blessing to be on the receiving end!
I'm fried. I'm going to keep posting at least once a day, and at some point will switch to a blog I am setting up. I found a photo of my sweet wife I like a lot. I hope you enjoy it, because it captures her spirit so well.