Maureen’s been doing most of the posting here so far, and I’m grateful for how well she’s communicated John’s health problems and our thoughts and feelings over the past several months. It’s been a privilege for me to see the grace and strength with which Maureen has responded to everything that’s happened. God’s work has been very clear in her. I’ve loved this woman for almost a decade now, but hard times have a way of revealing new facets (and in this case, beauties) of people you thought you already knew thoroughly.
I do know her pretty well, though. The other evening I went to the kitchen for a snack and decided, because I happen to like cheese, to add a few slices of cheddar cheese to my bowl of Cheez-its. I may have done this on several occasions before that night, and she may have had something to say about it. When I returned to the couch, Maureen glanced over and said, “Oh, cheese with your cheese!” At which point I coolly flipped over the note I had written before leaving the kitchen, which read, “Oh, cheese with your cheese!”
We have learned many new things since January, including medical terminology, the people and places of the University of Virginia Medical Center, and the fear and vulnerability of not knowing what will happen to our son. But time and time again we have been encouraged and uplifted by a much more welcome and wonderful discovery. God has shown us how much He loves us in the creative and practical and relentless and extreme and beautiful generosity of our friends and family. We’re so grateful that in the midst of this difficult season we’ve seen God’s goodness and faithfulness through you, and we thank you for this with full hearts.
I’ll close with a poem that expresses some of what we’ve been thinking and feeling, not because I’m a great poet but because it’s an opportunity (like this blog) to try to discern and make some meaning and even some beauty in what’s happening.
This is a thank-you poem
For all the things that God has done
Through you, for John, and us.
Within this storm we’ve found
Unfailing, steady, solid ground
In Christ, who with each gust
Draws nearer, manifest
In friendship’s crazy, sweet excess,
Surpassing all that’s just.
Such graces blossom best,
Or only, in our worst distress.
And so, through tears, we must
Acknowledge God is kind,
Wise, loving, good (though we are blind),
And worthy of our trust.