On the day of Jenny’s sixth surgery – a reconstructive surgery that we believe will be her last — I sent an email update to a group of friends and family. My note said that she was out of surgery.
In the email, I said that I was going to post my notes from the day later, but I shared Jenny’s pre-surgery thoughts in case they had not read that yet. If you remember, the night before the surgery Jenny was writing about having a lot to celebrate, something she was contemplating after meeting so many people that she feels a connection with throughout this journey.
Maybe I don’t have to forget and move on. Maybe I can embrace and move on, and in the midst of that, I can find ways to connect with people who are behind me on the path … or even those on a different journey path. The gift of being able to empathize (not just sympathize) is pretty important.
I got many responses to my email alert, but I thought I’d share one from Stephanie, who simply responded with three versus from 2 Corinthians.
All praise to the God and Father of our Master, Jesus the Messiah! Father of all mercy! God of all healing counsel! He comes alongside us when we go through hard times, and before you know it, he brings us alongside someone else who is going through hard times so that we can be there for that person just as God was there for us. We have plenty of hard times that come from following the Messiah, but no more so than the good times of his healing comfort—we get a full measure of that, too. (2 Corinthians1:3-5 MSG)
Nothing else needed said. That seems to fit Jenny’s pattern the last couple of years.
Stephanie and her husband Michael were part of the Disciple I class that Jenny and I went through last year. It’s a long, intense walk through the Bible over the course of nine months. And now I can say I have a true basic understanding of the Bible – two steps more than the CliffsNotes version I understood before.
I’d say Michael and Stephanie are already experts in understanding the Bible, since they dropped everything three years ago and started following what they felt they were called to do as missionaries. They make their home base at Acts 2 UMC, where we are members, but are gone often in parts of the world most of us only read about in the newspaper.
It was great getting to know a family that is so devoted to spreading the Word. And it was great find that they are otherwise like every other family I know in our Edmond-area community – except that they live with an alternate set of priorities.
Anyway, I thought I’d share the verse, since it stuck with me. That’s probably why she sent it.
P.S. The mission is called Led By The Word. Check out their site and blog. I feel a connection to them and their site, because I got to know them by reading their blog in an MD Anderson waiting room in 2012 long before meeting them in person.