My life has been a journey full of twists & turns, highs & lows. Honestly, I'm not sure I could really define where I'm headed. But one thing I'm learning, the journey isn't all about the final destination but more about how we travel. And fulfillment is found in all that we learn & experience as we journey, not just getting to the end of it. I can't even imagine making mine without Christ before me, behind me, and beside me...

Thursday, May 2, 2013



We walked through the door into the quiet room, noticing that the rollaway had been put away. Oh, heart dropped. Then I glance toward his hospital bed. She lay with him in the bed, face to face, her fingers sweetly intertwined with his--both of them peacefully asleep. His Beloved so thin and weary in the waiting, and him just a shell of the man I once knew. My heart broke and words wouldn't even come in a whisper for the knot in my throat. We wished we could just silently back out of the room and leave them in the tenderness of their gentle rest. It was such a rare and unforgettable portrait of how precious even a few still moments of togetherness can be. Few of us will know such a tender sweet love as they have...still. This is how it's supposed to be--maybe not perfect but so real-life TRUE. 
     My heart catches every time I walk through that hospice room door, praying that he has entered into his joyful forever home and, at the same time, dreading that his journey has ended and his bed may finally be empty. Today we stepped into the intimacy of this poignant cameo, and both of us wished we hadn't disturbed it. But her eyes fluttered open and she began to rise, still clinging tightly to his hand. 
     "No, don't get up. Go ahead and sleep. We will come back." But she says, "No, I WANT to visit." My heart wrenched for her. I know all too well about these endless, waiting days in a hospice room. She NEEDS community as she hovers between losing him and living life alone. Maybe in this very moment, God made us to be a lifeline for his Beloved whose mountains are crumbling, so we stay...

God is our refuge and strength, an ever present help in trouble,
Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way
and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea..."  -  Psalm 46:1-2

     I wish we could take away her hurting but, even so, I know that it's just part of knowing a love like this. The kind of love Jesus had for His bride, the church. "Husbands, love your wives as Christ loved the church..." But, knowing our humanness, maybe Paul wasn't talking about loving perfectly as human eyes see. Maybe he was talking about loving wholeheartedly, completely, and even eternally, with everything we are. And Frank has. Jesus knows. And his Beloved knows... It's the kind of love that transcends finite thinking and, like the opal, gleams warmer and brighter in its flaws because of grace. Knowing Frank, I'm sure he would echo to her that famous Jack Nicholson line, "You make me wanna be a better man," and he would mean it.
     As we prayed over him before leaving, I couldn't help but flip through memories of my talks with Frank, especially our random divine appointments at Harbor Freight, about town, or in his hospital room. How often he told me that he wished God would let him go because he was useless and a burden. I remember how often I would remind him of God's promise:

"I know what I'm doing. I have it all planned out--plans to take care of you, not abandon you, plans to give you the future you hope for." - Jeremiah 29:11 The Message

     "You're still here so God still has a purpose for you. He ain't done yet!" And we would laugh. Then he would tell me stories of his swap meets and young people he met. Everyone loves his stories--I understood how a young car/bike junkie would love hanging out with Frank! He would tell them what a rabblerouser he was and how God gave him grace. I remember so well how he told me there in Harbor Freight about the young man who asked him to tell him more about Jesus. He didn't know if he did it right, but Frank led him to the Lord. "See, Frank. Where would that young man be without you? God DOES have a purpose for you."
     And even today when we saw them so lovingly together, both of us who entered that room were touched by the love they have. I don't think either of us will forget it. And the Beloved--well, she cherishes every second she can hold his hand. All I could say out loud was "Bye Frank," but I whispered without words, "See Frank. God STILL has a purpose..." Still, God has not abandoned. Still, God has plans to give you the future you hope for..." I think he heard me. If he could, he would nod his head with that little grin he has, knowing it's still true for him and for his Beloved.


  1. That's all I can count on... He and His. Giving, sharing His love.

    Thanks for your words and your insight and wisdom.

  2. My friend Frank's earthly journey came to an end today. He is now rejoicing in the presence of the One who loved him to Grace. Please be in prayer for his Beloved Diane and his family as they face the days ahead without him.