Today I have been thinking about living life on purpose. Not a purpose driven life, but doing things that are good for me and others as a new routine.
When I was studying computer science, we hooked some sort of attachment up to the TV cable and watched a printout of the data passing through the TV cable on a PC screen. It was so fast, you could hardly read it. My mind works that way a little bit-- streaming thoughts.
There is a verse where Paul said, "take captive every thought." For me that is like a dog trying to catch speeding cars. Besides, what would he do with it if he did catch one?
But today, miraculously, I did catch one. And It almost got away twice. It is the same one that I have had on and off for several years. Today, on purpose, I am writing about it even though I have a different title for this blog staring me in the face. The reason that I was trying to avoid it, was that two of my last three blogs were on the same topic. How boring is that?
Before I tell another story, let me tell you what happened today. I have been querying some of my Christian friends about setting up a cancer prayer site. I was thinking about a Christian site where folks, any folks suffering from this dreaded disease, can get someone they can count on to pray for them. It's very simple. Someone desperate for healing signs up for prayer, and you, or someone like you gets an email to pray for them.
There are a million good ideas on the Internet. Blogs, eBay, Craig's List, Facebook, MySpace, Google and a ton more. Who knows, right? Today, one of the guys that I have been talking to about this site asked, "Is Monday a good day to drop off a check for the web site?" Honestly, I was thinking this is a load of work, and it's just a good idea. And until about 20 minutes ago, it was still a good idea. But all that changed with a second phone call. My wife has a friend that was diagnosed with cancer a few days ago, and is going into surgery on Tuesday. She told us a little while ago.
All of a sudden, it seems like a great idea. Don't you think?
One last thing, can you pray for my wife's friend? Oh and can you pray for Angie's nephew, he has liver cancer at 27. Could you pray for them everyday for say a week? Thanks.
The Story of God's Great Love-- for my mom!
In 2001, most of the world wasn't thinking about what would happen in the US on 9/11. I was one of them. I was busy helping friends establish home-groups and churches where they lived. I had taken a year off after my divorce, but I was slowly getting things going again.
I was scheduled to be in Cincinnati area to meet with friends. It was an amazing time. I was praying about going out, and received a check in the mail for exactly, to the penny, what I need for the airline ticket—after a tithe.
One morning while I was working, about a month before I was to leave, I got a call from my mother. She had bad news, pancreatic cancer in the last stage. As with my father only a few years before, I began to pray. I began to seek the Lord on how to pray, what to pray for and what I should do.
A few weeks later, I went to Cinci and borrowed my friend’s car in order to make the trek up to Ft. Wayne for a visit my mother. We had a nice time, talked about real issues, and had a simple lunch together in her home. As I hugged her before I left, I knew that she, like my father wasn’t going to make it. Oh, we had some time, but the cancer was going to kill her. No matter how I tried to summon faith for healing (how I wanted her to live and not die), and take captive the thought that I was going to lose her, I just knew it was going to be over.
On the drive back to Ohio, I just cried out, what should I do Lord? Peering out at the horizon; over miles of corn fields, I heard the still small voice say, "Call her everyday." And so I did. Each morning between 8:45 and 9:00 I called, usually on my way to work. I would end every call with, "I love you." and hang up as I walked down the hall to my office. In the beginning it was easy. She was still getting around, she was even working a little, going to concerts, and taking short trips. As time went on, she got sicker and sicker.
One morning I called and my step-father said that she was asleep. About an hour later, sick from the chemo, she called me to say that she was sorry that she missed our call that morning. She told Gene to make sure to wake her whenever I called. She never missed one after that.
I visited her four times during those final months. I would usually stay for four or five days. Each morning at 8:45, she would ask everyone to leave the room. "So how are you today, David?" she would say, knowing that I was in her house the whole time. At 9 o'clock, after I kissed her on the forehead and told her that I loved her, she'd have me open the door. I had no idea how important those calls were to her or me until my last visit.
It was a few days after 9/11, and there were no planes, so I drove with my brother and my two daughters to Ft. Wayne from Cape Cod; 17 hours each way. We arrived and mom was in her guestroom, the one with all but one of the stained glass windows I had made for her over the years. One morning, close to the end, my girls and I went into the room. I stood one side of the bed, opposite the door, and the girls stood on the other. I asked her if I could pray for her, and she of course said yes. The girls and I laid hands on her. As we prayed the presence of the Lord grew and grew. Erin said, “Grandma is hot!” Zöe nodded her head in agreement. We kept praying and she began to glow. She was lit up like a lamp as the presence of God came into the room. Erin said, “Grandma is hot, really hot!” She almost shouted.
The Hospice nurse came into the room and fell to the floor near my mother’s feet. She couldn't stand in His presence. My brother and step-father felt the presence at the door and we not able to come in the room. The glory of the Lord was there in a powerful way. My mother’s frail body shone like a lamp. This went on for a few minutes and finally subsided.
After were done praying, my mother called us close to her face. She said to me, “I am ready for glory.” We had a wonderful conversation where she told the girls that she so wished that she could have had more time with them.
We drove back to Massachusetts and two days later she died. She couldn’t take my last phone call. But I told her that loved her and she made a quiet grunting sound. She died the next day.
I spoke to my brother and asked him what her last words were. Tell David, that I love him and thanks for calling everyday.