God Has This (September 13, 2015)

My dear friends, it has been a challenging few weeks, but I am so happy to return to you with new eyes and new hope.  I thank you for your prayers during my daughter’s family’s ordeal.  The incident was sadder than we first knew.  Mr. Henry was shot by his cousin as he answered a domestic violence call.

Because the man was his cousin, he didn’t wear his vest, as he thought he could talk the man down.  His cousin didn’t shoot the woman, he had only a knife at this time, but he stabbed three women, killing one of them.  The gun used to shoot Mr. Henry was his own, taken from him during a scuffle.  The gas station was set afire by the gunman as he left it.

My daughter is a teacher in Opelousas, a larger town near Sunset.  She teaches in the same school her sons attend.  The Principal was kind enough to call in a crisis counselor the following day, who met with Joy and my grandsons, Bradley and David, and with other children from the area who knew and loved Mr. Henry.    I have to share with you what has sustained me, and sustained my family, during this dark time.  When Tony was finally allowed to return home, he was weeping.  He came in and said, “Mr. Henry is dead.  I’ll never see him again.”

“Yes, you will, Daddy,” replied six-year-old David.

“No, son, you don’t understand.  Mr. Henry is dead.  I’ll never see him again.”

“Yes, you will, Daddy.  You’ll see him in Heaven.”

God bless the faith of a little child, who sees things so clearly, and takes such comfort in the truth.  He patted his daddy’s arm and hugged him, and Tony did feel better.

Since that awful day, whenever David sees any of his family upset, or when anything bad happens, he walks up to that person, gives them a hug, or pats their arm or shoulder, and says, “God has this.”

That has been my new mantra.  “God has this.”

It got Brad and me through a dark time last week when we unexpectedly lost Kirby, our surviving service dog.  We knew he had Cushing’s Disease, a malfunction of his adrenal gland, which we treated with daily medication and a special diet.  But we were shocked when he suddenly became ill one night, and didn’t wake us up for breakfast the following morning.  Brad rushed him to the vet early and came back for me.  He had a mass the size of a softball on his liver; how does something that large exist in a 22-pound dog and not be seen or felt?  It was cancer, and his prognosis was grim.  We did the kind thing and let him go, and we have had a hole in our hearts and a hole in our home ever since.  But God has Kirby, and he is better off.  Our hearts will mend.  We are searching the rescue sites and humane societies for the next possible companion, as we have been since Jake died, and perhaps our veterinarian in Bishop was right when she said we are the hospice for terminal rescue animals.

God has this.  And he has us.  Thank be to God!

The Lord is my strength and my shield; in him my heart trusts; so I am helped, and my heart exults, and with my song I give thanks to him.  Psalm 28:7

Dear Lord, We thank you that even when things look their bleakest, you are there to hold us and comfort us.  There is nothing we face that we must face alone.  There is no burden we must bear on our own.  No matter what we hold, you hold us.  Help us to remember, and to let go.  Amen.

Beatitudes for Special People (August 23, 2015)

While I am recovering from eye surgery, I thought I would share this reading, which I found while cleaning out files in my office.  It comes from the Lincoln Training Center, based in South El Monte, California, whose stated mission is “to foster independence and improved quality of life for individuals with disadvantages or developmental disabilities through maximum effort of the organization’s staff, membership and volunteers.”  Their website is at http://www.lincolntc.org

BEATITUDES FOR SPECIAL PEOPLE

BLESSED ARE YOU who take time to listen to difficult speech, for you help us to know that, if we persevere, we can be understood.

BLESSED ARE YOU who walk with us in public places, and ignore the stares of strangers, for in your friendship we feel good to be ourselves.

BLESSED ARE YOU who never bid us to “hurry up” and, more blessed, you who do not snatch our tasks from our hands to do them for us, for often we need time rather than help.

BLESSED ARE YOU who stand beside us as we enter new and untried ventures, for our unsureness will be outweighed by the time when we surprise ourselves and you.

BLESSED ARE YOU ask for our help and realize our giftedness, for our greatest need is to be needed.

BLESSED ARE YOU who help us with the graciousness of Christ, for often we need the help we cannot ask for.

BLESSED ARE YOU when, by all things, you assure us that what makes us individuals is not our particular disability or difficulty but our beautiful God-given personhood which no handicapping condition can confine.

REJOICE AND BE EXCEEDINGLY GLAD, for your understanding and love have opened doors for us to enjoy life to its full, and you have helped us believe in ourselves as valued and gifted people.

Authorship and source unknown

BlessingsPastor Diane