Recent events have turned my world sideways. Not stopped or upside-down, but sideways. As a minister I am no stranger to destruction or disease. I have consoled many through tough times. I have personally faced them on occasion. But the passed few days grabbed my attention.
I would start with the current political situation in the United States and more specifically my home state, but then I would digress into a rant and . . . well let’s just say I am not thrilled, happy, pleased, or hopeful about our nation at the moment.
I could also mention current issues of morality that are hot topics in our nation. But again, I would have way too much to say, and you likely know where I stand on those issues – or think you do.
My world is sideways for some personal reasons. Please indulge my personal message.
I have a dear friend (a member where I serve as minster and my “amen” corner) who is visiting family in Japan. I have a cousin and his family living in Japan as teachers and missionaries. Japan recently had earthquakes and aftershocks. Thankfully they are both safe and are a good distance away from the epicenter and suffered no damage. I have friends in Ecuador, again they suffered earthquakes. I have heard from many of them that they are all safe. Some shaken, but safe. I even learned that some of these poor people are gathering supplies in Ecuador to send to the hardest hit regions.
Yesterday something even more personal struck and grabbed my attention. My younger
brother (Charles a.k.a. Chuck, Chaz, and Kermit) fainted at work and then had a seizure. Co-workers got him to the hospital – I presume they called for an ambulance. They found a tumor on his brain affecting the left side of his body. He admitted to my parents and older brother that he had recently been suffering from some weakness on his left side. As of now, we do not know the nature of the tumor. He should know sometime today when a larger hospital will have him come for further evaluations and tests. My sister-in-law says he is resting well and is in good spirits about it. (Update – Charles expects to be at the hospital next week for biopsy, evaluations, recommendations and the next steps to recovery.)
My world is sideways, but my faith is strong. I thank God for the safety of my friends and family in Japan and Ecuador. I thank Him that they are in positions to help others recover from these disasters. I know you have friends and family in similar situations and that with God we can all have a peace that passes understanding. I know that no matter what lies ahead for my brother, his family, and our family together, that God is there with us, holding hands, and hearing prayers. I know that you and many others are praying for Charles, for his healing, and for those that will be taking care of him. We covet those prayers and thank you for them.
Today, the well known words of the psalmist seem more than appropriate,
The Lord Is My Shepherd
A Psalm of David.
The Lord is my shepherd; I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.
He restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness
for his name ‘s sake.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.
You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord