Sunday, September 11, 2011

Hope in Remembering....Jesus Lives!

What an extraordinary beginning to the school year we have experienced here in the Washington area!  It's as if God was getting us ready for the 10th anniversary of 9-11 by reminding us exactly Who has the real power in this world!!  (Hint:  it isn't a bunch of guys from countries far away who don't mind sacrificing their lives to bring death and destruction into ours!)  The first week of the DC school year was shortened because of an earthquake!  So rare are earthquakes in our part of the world that, even though my car was shaking back and forth violently at a stoplight, my husband and I assumed we were about to be in the market for new wheels, not that the earth was moving beneath the old ones!  Then, Hurricane Irene interrupted not only PG county schools, but the power for most of Maryland!  Frustrated Facebook friends posted, I'm assuming on their mobile phones before they lost all power, irate words for the power companies.  And then, who would have thought that Virginia schools would have been interrupted by flood waters rushing in, all over the area, from Tropical storm Lee?  Tragedy befell each one of those natural disasters in the form of falling trees, car accidents and, this past Friday a twelve year old boy was swept from his own backyard and drowned in the flood.

Our family has had such an eventful year that I'm not sure we even have a status quo at the moment, but, if we did, it was certainly disturbed this month by the events I described; however,  none of those match last Friday's diagnosis of  lymphoma received by my best friend, Lisa.  I don't believe in accidents, and I'm a writer, so I analyze to death ironic plot twists in fiction both in movies and in books.  I could not have imagined that an earthquake, a hurricane, a flood and even the terror threats and memories of 9-11 would be eclipsed in my life by the threat of cancer, the diagnoses, and the impending treatment of someone so dear to me.  I'm sure that the parents of the 12 year old boy lost in the flood would not have predicted such a horrible loss a week ago either, just as, 10 years ago, mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, parents, children, and grandparents could not have predicted that they would never again see the faces of those lost in 9-11, as they left for work or boarded planes that beautiful fall morning.

How can we find hope in the midst of such uncertainty?  Well, our hope cannot be in this life.  Tonight, as Lisa and I  stood talking in the rain....I know, she's sick, and we were outside talking in the rain....anyway, we were, and Lisa said to me, "I'm so ready to take this journey!"  I looked her in the eyes.  She meant it.  Every word.  I could almost hear an echo, "Let's roll!"  Lisa is not a glutton for punishment, and she probably would never consider herself a hero.  But she does have the courage of faith....because she knows Who it is who has the real power in this life. She has told me many times, in many situations, both hers and mine....."I don't know how it's going to happen, but I serve a God who is able...."   There is great hope in remembering that truth!
Lisa (R) and our friend, Hazel, at my house

God  spoke, and the universe came into existence.  He formed man from the dust of the ground and breathed life into his lungs.  He formed a nation from the union of a century old couple.  He allowed His only Son to die for  our sins, and He raised Him from the dead.  A few weeks ago, there was an earthquake, but God was not in the earthquake.  There was a hurricane, but God was not in the hurricane.  There was a flood, but God was not in the flood.
Ten years ago, man did unspeakable evil to man, but God was not in the evil.  My friend has cancer, but God is not in the cancer.  God is in the still small voice that speaks to my friend...and us all....that says, "Jesus lives."