A sweet little boy named Ben is undergoing life-threatening brain surgery as I write these words.
I've never met him but I love his family ... I've known them for many years.
When I had my hysterectomy, his Nana - who is also my dear friend, Donna - brought over a huge plastic tote filled with yummy food. I had been so nauseous during my eight day stay in the hospital that I'd barely eaten a thing for many days. Tucked in that big tote was a Tupperware bowl full of fresh watermelon. I'll never forget ... I scarfed that watermelon down like it was my job!! And felt tremendously better afterwards. I love Donna.
Fast forward eight years later ... when I got the news that my Ed had died, Donna was at my house in record time. I got the word at about 10 p.m. I was already in bed when my pastor came to our door. I'm sure Donna was in her bed too. Yet there she was. And she, along with many others, stayed and prayed and cried and hugged me till the wee hours of the night.
Because Donna and her family live their faith and have shown the love of Christ to so many people, they have thousands of people praying for them today. A Facebook group was started called "Blue for Ben"
and everyone is wearing blue today as a way of showing our love and support for this dear boy. I've got my blue on!
This need is great and sometimes fear and worry creep in and suddenly there seems to be a chill in the air. Ben's mom, Mindy, has shared her heart on her Facebook page and it's been touching and inspiring. I want to wrap them all up in a warm and cozy blanket and take this pain and heartache away from them but I can't.
Only God can.
Only God is able to reach down from heaven and whisper peace and hope and comfort to a heart that reels with the "what if's" that plague each of us when the unthinkable happens. How does a four-year-old get a brain tumor the size of a fist? I don't have the answer, but I know that bad things happen to good people all the time. Those of us who have experienced the unthinkable know that Jesus spoke the truth when he said, "In this world, you will have trouble."
He went on to say, however, "But take heart! I have overcome the world."
(John 16:33) Now those
words bring comfort. Those words can warm a cold, weary heart. Those words bring encouragement to the soul facing the unknown ... like my friends.
And his mom and dad.
And his twin brother Jack.
And his little sister Megan.
And his Nana Donna, my dear friend.
I have a little 3 x 5 card on my desk that is a constant reminder to me of one of God's promises to us.
"The Lord will perfect that which concerneth me;
Thy mercy, O Lord, endureth forever;forsake not the works of Thine own hands." (Psalm 138:8)
I claimed this verse for my own son Ben in April of 2010 and I keep this card handy as a visual reminder to me of God's amazing love and ability. He is able to do all
things but sometimes, as we know, he chooses to allow pain and suffering. I pray that isn't the case with our little four-year-old friend. I pray God grants him a long, happy, productive life and that this season of trouble will be a faint memory. God knows about this concern and He is able.
I love my collection of vintage wool blankets. Some are Pendleton, some made in Scotland, and some just old and well-loved. In the days before cars had heaters, these blankets were necessary for warmth. We often quip, "Bundle up!" when our kids head outside (especially this winter!), but years ago people literally had to bundle up when traveling to keep the cold at bay. Dare I confess I snap up these old blankets every time I find them when I'm out thrifting? I do. What's one more collection, right?
Today these old blankets whispered to me of the warmth of friendship and how we all need each other and of how kindness and prayer are more valuable than any of us may ever know. I hope you'll join me in praying for my friend Donna's little grandson, Benjamin. His surgery is supposed to last about six hours and then the road to recovery begins. They don't know if the tumor is cancerous yet. Like I said, this is a big need, but we have a BIG God who knows all about it. I hope that warms your heart like it does mine :)