Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Here We Go

Going to the Cleveland Clinic tomorrow. Geneticist/Cardio/Neurology. Appointments and tests for essentially 5 hours straight. Seems like a lot of variables at play. Checking heart function. Talking pseudo-tumors/pressure on optic nerve.

Chaia has grown and gained some pounds since her last visit.

The theory is that at some point her body will out grow what her heart can sustain.

We're asking that God would continue to mock and laugh at that theory and bring complete healing.

Would you ask that with us?

Pray for Chaia to stay calm and allow the exams to take place.

Pray for Shaina and I to have our hearts and minds protected. The hospital has this uncanny ability to magnify hope and despair in significant ways.

Thursday, September 25, 2014

3 Years Ago Today

We were driving back from Columbus.

Chaia was in her car seat. We stopped in Smithville to pick up our dog Shadow.

Chaia was some shade of blue and was laboring to breathe.

It was very different from the rapid (90 times a minute) breathing she'd been doing all week in Columbus. "It's probably just a little bug", they said in Columbus.

We thought maybe we were just over reactive first time parents.

But here she was having a heart attack.

Now things were obviously not right. We drove to the closest hospital. They wanted to get an IV started to get fluids into her system. Couldn't get it in her arms. Tried her feet. And eventually tried a vein in her forehead. The screams that day. An octave and a volume I'd never heard from the little bean.

2 and a half normal months. Then this.

She was life flighted to Akron Childrens.

I drove our car. Shaina rode with Chaia in the helicopter.

I beat the helicopter by 20 minutes. Sat in the waiting room. Watched the end of the Browns game. They won. You know things were messed up if the Browns were winning.

Akron was great. They knew something was attacking her heart and for a couple days they did everything they could think of to try and stabilize her and keep her alive.

Three years ago this journey of hell and hope began. And one of the small meaningful acts of grace that day that we will never forget when we came into Chaia's room after a meeting.

She had been poked, prodded, jabbed, stabbed, scanned, intubated. She was beat up.

And a nurse took the time while we were out of the room to introduce Chaia to her first hair bow, to clean her up and put her in a little princess bed.

She wasn't an interesting specimen or a medical mystery.

She was our little girl. And we needed that.

We've seen God's hand all over Chaia's story. There has been a great deal of pain and heartache. But even more joy and hope.

Today it's worth remembering:

She's not dead. And God's not done.

Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Where Jesus Got It Wrong

Mark 2:1-12.

Jesus is teaching. House is packed.

4 guys and their buddy on a mat can't hear or see him.

They dig a hole in the roof. Not just to hear or see him.

They dig it so big that buddy on a mat can be lowered down and put right next to Jesus.

Don't know much about buddy on a mat. He's paralyzed. You get the sense that he's known nothing but the mat for awhile. His identity is tied up with the mat. His past, present and future are tied to that mat.

And Buddy on that mat has 4 friends who want a different story for him so bad that they wreck the roof to get him to Jesus.

Jesus saw THEIR faith. And he healed buddy on a mat. "Son, your sins are forgiven...take up your mat and walk."

And he does.

Pretty epic.

Maybe all of Capernaum knew buddy on a mat. Maybe they knew how he got paralyzed. Maybe he'd been that way since he was young.

Regardless. Buddy on a mat wasn't on a mat anymore.

Something happened there.

And people couldn't help but be in awe.

I want to land this passage at "Jesus wants to rid you of the mat."

Whatever it is that has crippled you...has defined you...has claimed your identity.

If it's fear that has paralyzed you...If it's anxiety...If it's depression...If its anger...bitterness...secrecy...shame...a double life...insecurity...arrogance...past hurts...unforgiveness...what ever has tied your past present and future to a mat of paralysis, Jesus wants to rid you from it.

Sounds like the right message.

But Jesus doesn't say get rid of the mat.

He says take it with you.

That's a different story. That's an odd approach. In my mind, I want to tell Jesus he made a mistake. Why keep that mat as a reminder for dude formerly known as buddy on a mat? Why keep that torment in front of him. Let him walk in freedom. Let him walk in new creation.

But maybe this is the point.

Instead of eliminating the mat or destroying the mat or erasing the mat...

Jesus wants to redeem it.

What if your mat became God's message?

The thing that you are most injured by...the thing you are most ashamed of...the thing that has stolen your life...has left you stuck...unable to move on...That is exactly where God wants your ministry to come from.

Instead of sweeping under the rug your marriage that is in shambles. What if you brought it to the light and asked God to redeem it? Then what if you let God keep using it to help other marriages?

What if your depression let you speak life and hope to someone else who is in despair?

Certainly buddy on a mat was looked at a little differently as he walked away from that encounter with Jesus. Buddy walking with a mat tells a better story.

It reminds us that Jesus loves us enough to meet us right where we're at.

And he loves us enough to not let us stay there.

Change Starts Here.