Thursday, March 31, 2011

Coast is clear

     I want to tell a personal story, one that has a lot of pain which I am sure you all have experienced in some degree. I know that life has its twists and turns, sometimes friendships go from sweet to sour and the roads that we travel can go from smooth and level to rocky and painful. The cold feeling of possible loneliness can challenge the best of hearts, leaving us with the all to often question of "Why?"

     That question can sometimes plague the strongest of hearts, even suck the very joy out of life. We feel that for some reason that everything must be perfect at all times or at the very least the suffering that we endure must be for someone else not for us. When I was growing up my mother taught me a profound lesson, one that I wish to share with you. I had the most jovial uncle around, he loved to laugh and play. Every time he came to my house he would catch me as I leaped off of the stairs. With open arms he would snatch me up and chuckle, then with the most loving kindness he would hug me and tell me that I was special to Him. One day he showed up at my house weeks later and I ran half way down the stairs, the excitement was amazing. I leaped into the air and he barely could hold me, with tears in his face he kissed my cheek and gently let me down. I looked deep into his eyes and I could see that his heart was breaking. My mother leaned over and whispered in my ear and said "Your uncle is sick and he can no longer catch you" that was the very moment as a child that I discovered suffering. Within two years my uncle deteriorated to almost nothing, the Parkinson's disease took away his strength and inevitably took away his life.
     Now you are probably wondering what good could possibly come out of that, well I will tell you. After I realized he couldn't catch me my mother said "you can love him, just love him differently". Such simple words but they had so many tears attached to it. The wisdom that my mother gave me was filled with peace and with kindness, she wanted my uncle to feel my love and most undoubtedly know unconditional kindness. I made sure that every time he arrived that I was waiting, gently anticipating a smile from him. I would walk over to his side and hug his leg and tell him that everything was going to be alright. I helped him up the stairs and sat beside him. As the night progressed I would hear him laugh occasionally. I was amazed at the heart behind the subtle laughter, the tears streamed from his face as he continued to make jokes off and on through the night. He was a real hero, he was my hero! Though he passed away quickly, he left an indelible mark of poise and joy. God was the centre of his pain, his frustrations and undoubtedly his faith. There simply was no perfect answer to why he suffered but there was a perfect lesson to be learned. Never ever give up!!

     I am going to keep running  until I make a difference, because I believe in never ever giving up. I believe in being the hope and living the change. Do you?!

Isaiah 40:31
But those who trust in the LORD will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.

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