Friday, October 10, 2008

Hope and Love in This Life and the Next

One of our quilt recipients in on the brink of death. Her name is Emily and she is only 15 years old. She has a rare genetic disease that has been slowly robbing her of life for about 5 years now. Her mother Lindsey keeps an inspiring CaringBridge website updating family and friends. The following is what she has written today-as she watches her child die. I want you to notice with me what she says about HOPE and LOVE.

"She is tired. I think it really hit her hard today, the realization that she was completely on the brink of death the other night. She still continues to startle the medical folks by even being alive.

For some reason, the sadness is hitting me today... I guess I had, inside, hoped that today would yield a marked turning point, that we could start to begin to picture her coming home with us again, sometime. No one else is holding out that promise... it must just be another time of waiting, waiting, waiting without knowing the eventual or immediate outcome.

One learns to be patient in the waiting... and GRATEFUL. But such lessons of the soul do not occur easily, or without distinct cost. Thankfully, there is One who has gone before us, an Example who has paved the way along the road of suffering... and Who has borne the far greater brunt of the load, to achieve at the end of it all what we as humans could never completely achieve.

For WEEKS now, I have given some thought to the end of 1 Corintians 13, which is that famous treatise on LOVE from the New Testament. 'And now abide faith, hope and love; but the greatest of these is love.' Somewhere in the back of my mind, and with these very words often repeated familiarly to me, I had latched onto a notion that faith, hope and love were three great things but that love was the only one of the three that would last forever... but, after further reflection on the words, I had to realize that it was simply not true. The statement actually indicates that all THREE will remain, but that in their remaining, the greatest of the three is actually LOVE.

When you are in a life-and-death situation like ours, it is actually HOPE that weighs in pretty heavily. Understandably. But I guess in all my musing recently, and especially culminating in my thoughts today as I watch Emily, I have suddenly caught a grasping of the fact that LOVE is even greater than hope. Am not even sure that words can be found to unravel such a great mystery... but something poignant has been spoken to my heart, by the Spirit of the One who is God, the One who amongst many things is known as The Revealer of Mysteries, in this life and the next. And today, I quietly have found a measure of consolation in that."

Please be in prayer for the Yeskoo family as they travel the through the valley of the shadow of death. If you have an account with CaringBridge you can read her page by using emilyy as the login.

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