I went to visit some dear friends a couple of weeks ago. I love these people. I love their hearts and how they have done missionary work in poverty-stricken countries. I love how they don’t have much money, but what extra they do have, they use to buy Bibles for orphans in Malawi or put a roof on a church that literally has an open heaven with rain coming inside.
Most of us wouldn’t even walk a mile to sit in a building in the rain with no roof. These people in Malawi are hungry in more ways than one.
My friend shared how she collected money and had a tin roof put on the church and how the people lined up when she got out of the car. They were in such awe and crying tears of gratitude. They were running to honor her! One woman gave her a royal gift–a chicken!
So as I was saying, I went to visit my dear friends, Cheri and Wade, and Wade was diagnosed with ALS. I made a meal to bring with us in the car because Wade can’t get out anymore.
We laughed and ate and talked and prayed. It was Shabbat, and as I watched my friend feed her husband his taco, I wondered what it was like for her to hand feed her spouse. The movies usually depict a sexy couple feeding each other seductively with chocolate covered strawberries, but what is it like to look into the eyes of the one you are one with and realize that each moment is sacred. Each smile. Each wipe of a cheek.
Her shoulders are pillars, and her legs are firmly planted. She is like a strong tree–a woman of valor.
Cheri is exhausted, but you would never know it.
After a bit of visiting and eating, I went to sit with my friend on his enclosed patio. He rode in his chair, and I followed. I plopped down on a cushioned seat and admired the beach theme, and petted his dog, Tutt. After a moment, my friend said, “I like to sit out here in the mornings and look outside. The sun cascades through the window and shines on my legs and my face.”
Wade hasn’t been able to leave his home for months. As he spoke, I remembered a time, shortly after my release of Walter the Homeless Man, when I had been to Mayo clinic and was very ill. There had been much stress and family issues that seemed to take me over the edge. I had to stay in bed upstairs at our old house, and my hubby had to make sure I had water, medication, and snacks– everything I would need because I couldn’t get up and down the steps while he was at work. I was much too weak. A few weeks later and a few rounds of IV steroids, I was able to take a car ride to a restaurant called The Overlook–Walter’s Pub. Floor length Glass windows on a hillside overlooking the water. It was fall, and all the leaves had changed from green to a beautiful golden orange that lit up the sky. I was weak, but, oh, so thankful to be out of bed. I cried most of the way there. Tears of JOY!!! Have you ever cried over the color of the leaves? Have you ever cried over the sun shining in your face?
I love Abba, and I wouldn’t trade a minute of the journey– as Garth Brooks bellows in my head– I could have missed the pain, but I’d a had to miss the DANCE!
Oh, My SOUL!
May our SOULS SHINE! May we not ‘overlook’ His beauty and All of His wondrous creation.
My friend Wade never complained that day. The once strong carpenter, a trade of our Master and Savior, has gained some different tools in his toolbox. These tools were teaching me many lessons, and as the evening drew near, Wade struggled to cough up the stuff in his chest he needed to get out. After composing himself, he continued to smile and joke about the ball game. He spoke about how good it felt to sit in his recliner since my husband was there to help him in and out of it. He was enjoying the day. The Shabbat in all her Glory was shining on him.
My friend Wade didn’t lament about a whole host of things. Tiny things we take for granted. Tiny organs that lay hidden behind ribs and bones that one day will come together and stand dressed in glory, but for now, each day, my friend grows worse, yet stronger:
And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me. Therefore I am well content with weaknesses, with insults, with distresses, with persecutions, with difficulties, for Christ’s sake; for when I am weak, then I am strong.
–II Corinthians 12:9-10, NASB
Meeting Wade and Cheri have been one of the biggest blessings in our life! They are people of integrity, and one day I’ll dance with Wade and Cheri, and we will have a drink of the best wine we’ve ever tasted–poured out by the greatest Servant that’s ever walked this earth, but for now, time is a precious thing.
A personal message on Cheri’s Facebook page recently ministered to me. She said this:
“One year ago, our lives changed forever. One year ago, we heard a doctor say “as a physician, this is one time I wish I could say you have cancer. I’m sorry.” That’s when the letters A L S entered our life, and invaded our home and the body of my sweet husband. But one year ago is also when we learned a few other things as well. 1 . Never take your loved ones for granted. 2. Pray big, worry small. 3. God is an ever present help in time of trouble. 4. Never ask why. Even our Savior Yeshua suffered on this earth. 5. Trust in Him with all your heart and soul. 6. Take that much needed trip. Before you CANT. 7. People disappoint, but Abba will never let us down. 8. Speak life, be a light to others, stop all the negative junk with yourself, and others. 9. Sometimes we are stronger than we ever imagined we could be. And 10. Sometimes our hero is right there under our nose….mine was. I love you Wade Fox. You are amazing.”
Each morning presents new obstacles and new sunrises — new colors of paint. Today, His Spirit lives in us, and we are said to have the same mind as Yeshua. May we try harder to reflect His foliage. Yes, let’s work harder to have compassion for the hurting. See the trees for the first time. Taste the rain when we are sick of it. Make a snow angel as a child would. Notice the people He places in front of us. Look at the sun like Wade does, and sing to the moon, for time is speeding faster, and each day the mirror shows us we have grown older–weaker. Let us give Glory for our breath in the morning. May we become more forgiving–more steadfast. Guard our hearts against those who would cause us to dwell on things that are toxic and meaningless.
I don’t care what kingdoms we have built, what business, how much is in our bank account, how educated we are, how esteemed we are by men; it can all be taken from you in an instant.
Moses, today you are going to walk up a hill and die.
Take this cup from me, Yeshua cried. Take this cup! But not my will, but Yours be done.
This life is such an incredible journey, no matter how long we are here. Each day is like putty in our hands, a paintbrush between our teeth, a golden ticket, a song, and we can feed a hungry child naturally or spiritually. We can collect money for a roof, notice the sun shining in our face and the color of the leaves, or the bareness of a tree waiting to bud for the next season. Even a tree that looks dead has sap bubbling up underneath, just waiting to blossom and bloom.
I hope this message ministered to you and that you will keep my friends in your prayers, and if you feel led to give this couple a love gift to help them during this difficult time or perhaps a gift for some of the orphans, Cheri and Wade love, please click the contact box and send us a message. We will make sure every gift gets in their hands.