Sitting at Starbucks yesterday, Dan and I ran into a couple of the ladies from our church. One of the ladies, Nancy, has been a special part of Cayden's life since he was first diagnosed with both of his diseases. We like to believe that she is Cayden's "Guardian Angel".
As he has grown up, she always brought him special little goodie bags filled with candy and other fun things as well as more meaningful gifts, like the "burden bear" she gave him when he was especially sick some time back. We know that she has been faithfully praying over him since he was a little guy. While we were in the hospital here in Tacoma about a month ago, Nancy had called to check up on how Cayden was doing. After hearing her message and the concern in her voice, I knew I needed to make sure to call her back to let her know what was going on.
Still sitting there with our grande, non-fat, extra hot lattes at Starbucks, we wondered aloud, how do people get through the difficult times if they don't have a belief in something greater than themselves, if they don't have a strong community of faith to support them, if they aren't somehow living their life for a higher purpose? These are the questions I return to when my life seems to be at the peak of distress, frustration, or anguish.
The greater love of God is what I believe binds us together as human beings. It's our community of faith lifts that us up in prayer when we need it the most, when we just cannot do it alone. It's those prayers that keep us going when we are in our darkest hour of need. As I told my friend Eric who is struggling with a difficult health condition, "ride on the prayers of others and gain strength from them". How do people get through the low points in their life without it? I certainly don't have the answer to that question, however I do know that OUR community of faith and our belief in the Ultimate Healer pulls us through when we feel that we have nothing of our own left.
Yet again this morning I experienced another example of how our community of faith is constantly there for the Luce family. As I was putting away music after the 11:15 service ended, Kristi, who happens to be the daughter of the former pastor of our church who had officiated my and Dan's wedding, came up behind me and presented me with a quilt that she had hand made. It was just the right size for me to take to the hospital. Her comment was "from one mom to another". Wow, I was simply overcome with emotion, all I could do was hug her and cry.
How many people are out there praying for us? I'll never know for certain. What I can tell you is that Cayden and I will be able to go into surgery on April 26th knowing that we are supported, loved and protected. That both God and the community of faith, far reaching beyond Christ Lutheran Church, will allow us to ride on their prayers and gain strength from them. Thanks be to God!