Hal here -- guest writing for Ann to everyone.
Ann was discharged from the hospital on Tuesday as she indicated in her last note -- though she was weak and tired. I thought we were headed back to the hospital for a while on Wednesday and Thursday with her pain pretty severe, shortness of breath, and nausea. She is now on oxygen and the effects of chemo seem to be waning some. She goes back in to seek Dr. Fabin on Monday to discuss her liver biopsy results and plan the next steps in treatment. Our understanding at this point will be continued chemo of some kind. We did find out that the experimental drug will not be a good match for her based on the early indications of the biopsy -- as always we are in His hands and we feel that we've reached a cross roads in the journey.
The girls have had the blessing of my parents here to spoil them for a few days followed by my aunt. It was great to see Zoe, Grace and Aunt Susie having a squirt gun fight on the back deck -- wish we had that one on video. The girls have also enjoyed sleep overs, going to theater in the park, and the laid back days of summer. Zoe, our traditional early riser, has even found that sleeping in has its benefits.
The gospel reading for today (Mt 8:5-17) brings us the story of the faith of the centurion and several examples of Jesus healing the possessed and sick "to fulfill what had been said by Isaiah the prophet: He took away our infirmities and bore our diseases." I ask Jesus several times a day to take away this disease from Ann if it is His will. I realize there is so much of His love and graces being poured out on Ann at this time -- I feel it in the prayers, cards, meals, flowers, and love you send to Ann -- thank you.
I pray that Ann and I remain open to His will and to love each other, our children and you with the grace of His love. We know of so many of you that have your own crosses too. It is important for you to share those hardships with the rest of the body of Christ -- that is, you see, how His love is made present and real -- it is in each of us caring for and taking care of those in need around us. It is a two part equation: 1) someone in need, one afflicted with suffering of some form; and 2) someone with a gift given by the Holy Spirit to give or offer others.
So, if you are in need and hurting (physically, emotionally, spiritually) and you don't seek His help through your neighbor -- that is going to keep His graces from reaching you -- it takes humility and that is hard. If you have some gift to give and you don't seek out opportunities to make those available to those in need -- it may be judgmental or selfish; it takes acts of charity which lead us to love of God's people. So, both kinds of people are needed and often both parts (needs and gifts) are present within each of us. I know its hard and we allow the devil to trick us so often on both parts but in your heart you know that you feel the God's love when both parts are exchanged with His will at the core. You see, in the exchange, God's love is made present to both persons -- its a beautiful thing.
Jesus, you know us. You know what we need. I pray that you help us to be open, to be vulnerable, to be willing to be loved by You through others. I pray that you give us wisdom to become more aware of the gifts that the Holy Spirit has provided to us AND that we use these gifts each day to benefit your creation.
I thank you for the blessings of my wife and family. I pray that I may be a worthy channel of your love to to others.
Peace be with you all.