Love is Louder II

mourning to dancing fushiasI stood outside the door of our son-in-love’s room and listened to the most beautiful sounds I have ever heard yesterday.

“Look at me, Daddy! Look at me!”

“I love you, Daddy!”

“Tickle me again, Daddy!”

Then laughter and fake groaning and the sounds of a daddy and his little ones wrestling.

Later I watched as all three little ones cuddled their daddy and watched a movie. The baby was smiling in his lap, the two-year old flopped over daddy’s shoulders and the four-year old leaned her blonde head on his chest and asked her hundreds of  why questions.

I watched mommy and daddy and the three little ones share a dinner of steak and chocolate -except for baby, of course.

I sat and talked with “John” about the journey we have been through since March 23. When I told him the stories of how people who had never prayed much were woken in the night with a burden to pray, of how people who had never seen God heal were following every report on Facebook, of how some were hearing the voice of God for the first time, of how a student’s mother told my daughter-in-law that she was receiving prayer updates from her mother in Vegreville who was receiving them from someone up there who knew the mother-in-law of this guy, of how friends stood by his bed and filled the waiting room day and night , of how his mother and I took turns holding each other up, of how his wonderful, quiet father was a bulwark of faith who said in his delightful German accent, “We will have no negative words here. We will only speak truth,”, of how his father-in-law wept as he cried out to God, of how his wife gave thanks in the middle of the worst days of her life and was a beacon of hope to everyone else herself, of how hospital staff from other wards found excuses to come by ICU to see what was happening, of how my friend told me she had renewed faith to pray for her own sons, of how the church is waking to come together, to pray together for healing of this land….

He cried. He cried tears of sorrow for what his family and friends endured and of joy for the kindness of strangers and for what God has done.

He said, “He didn’t have to do it. I could have died, and I would have been okay to go to be with him, but God healed me. He has given more years to be with my wife and my children. I have always loved Jesus, but now there is something much deeper.”

“Do you know how much of your effort, how many of your outstanding natural talents and abilities God used to do this thing?” I asked him. “Nothing! None. Not a thing. Boy, you were the most helpless a man could be. You couldn’t even breathe on your own. You had no blood pressure without a constant drip of medication. You had no kidney function without a big machine to clean your blood. You couldn’t move without a nurse doing it for you. You couldn’t say one charming, intelligent thing. You couldn’t move a single athletic muscle. You even needed other people to give up their own blood to replace yours. And let me tell you, the handsome thing wasn’t working for you much in those days either -and when you finally opened your eyes they weren’t even going the same direction. God used other people in the process, but none of this came about by a single effort of yours. Not one.”

He cried some more. “There is something much, much deeper about God’s love that I know now that I just can’t explain,”  he said softly.

Then we received a text message from someone who had been speaking to the physician who headed the large skilled team of specialists who treated “John.”

“You know it’s only by a miracle that guy survived,” he told him candidly.  Another physician dropped the f bomb and said, “That guy should be dead.”

We know.

So this is love. This is what a miracle feels like. He still has rehab work to do, but in the meantime, we laugh, we cry, we praise God. Mommy and Daddy and the kids cuddle together and we pass the popcorn while we watch a movie.

The words of an old song taken from Isaiah come to me as I write this in the early morning hours before the baby wakes up:

He has surely borne our sorrow

He has taken the sin debt away

He was bruised for our iniquities

And by His stripes we are healed today.

Love is louder.

Because He First Loved Us
Because He First Loved Us

Related post:

https://charispsallo.wordpress.com/2013/03/28/love-is-louder/

Love is Louder

Fearless
Fearless

When they received bad news from the fertility specialist my son-in-law (I’ll call John, as in John the Beloved) said to his young wife, “You know, the bigger the problem the bigger the miracle God can perform -and you know He can’t resist a good miracle.” They now have three beautiful little miracles to love and cherish.

This week we petition the Lord for another miracle -that these precious children would be raised by their healthy daddy.

When we arrived for our granddaughter’s fourth birthday he was already feeling very sick with what he thought was the flu and a pulled hamstring. Twenty four hours later surgeons were desperately trying to remove “brown gunk” from necrotizing fasciitis -flesh eating disease. They left an open incision from his knee to his waist and he has been on life support since Sunday morning after his blood pressure crashed.

But the most amazing things have happened as we trust God moment by moment.

When he heard the news shortly before the main morning service started, John’s pastor walked away from the pulpit of a large church to be at the side of his friend and a family in need. He has stayed with him in ICU, with several of John’s friends all night, every night since. The waiting room is filled with friends and people walk the halls nearly twenty-four hours a day praying for our beloved John. When the doctor’s reports grew more pessimistic they prayed harder.

Requests for prayer went out over social media and we are hearing from literally thousands of people around the world that their church, or home group, or school, or personal network is praying for this young family. We have never felt so loved.

God is doing something highly unusual here. As people come to pray they are themselves being touched by the love of God, repenting (choosing to change their thinking) and encountering a love and peace that does not make sense under the circumstance. People are being healed of deep wounds. Relationships are being restored, and more and more people are following the story on the media.

I’m mostly at home caring for the children with their other grandmother, while our daughter is at the hospital 20 hours a day. I went with her one night and was totally surprised by the atmosphere of peace in John’s room and the shouts of joy in the hall as the team prayed for the numbers on his monitors to change -and they did.

On Monday our little two-year old grandson was chattering to his distracted mommy who came home long enough to cuddle them herself, before returning to the hospital. Suddenly he changed the subject and said, “We don’t have to be afraid because Jesus is with us. Jesus is with us. Mommy, we don’t have to be afraid because Jesus is with us.”

Today she and I took the children for a walk, to take a breather. I had my camera with me (It’s a habit.) The little guy ran ahead and squatted down to trace “alphabets” that someone had written on the pavement. When I got closer I could see that it said “BE FEARLESS.”

The words on the other end of the bridge said, “LOVE IS LOUDER.”

I have no idea who wrote those words, but they felt like a gift from God.

The reports up until today have been quite negative. But God…

The love of God shining through people we have never met, through friends, through family who have travelled to be with John even though he is unconscious, have shouted down those dismal reports. Today we see improvement. Today the doctor said he was dying, but now he will live.

There is something more going on here than our limited human vision can see. John is a man who is willing to lay down his life for the Jesus he loves –and the people God loves. The love surrounding him is palpable. Some people are seeing angels in the room  as they pray for him. He is the kind of man whose whole life is a message about God’s love and goodness. I know that if the Lord asked him to give his life to save the church, he would do it.

God is up to something. When his Holy Spirit surrounds his church His holiness reveals weaknesses where we have relied on the flesh and where it has become corrupt. He shows us how parts of the body of Christ have been without blood supply or functioning in the way God intended and other parts are not communicating with each other. Impurities that have failed to be removed by non-discerning “kidneys” can all be healed in the light of Jesus’ relentless love. He tells us we are in a war for unity and purity and love in the body of Christ and we have not been taking this fight nearly seriously enough. It takes a willingness to turn, to change, to seek the Lord. Without serious day and night prayer the church in this part of the world will succumb to hidden decay. We need God’s light and his love that shines and burns like a laser.

Love is louder!

Love is Louder
Love is Louder

“John” is very much loved by many, many people. If you would like to pray with us for him we are asking right now for his blood pressure to rise on it’s own so he can get off the medications that restrict circulation to his feet, for restoration and preservation of his toes, for an increased platelet count, for his kidneys to start to function and for rapid healing of a massive open wound.

But more than that we want to give thanks to a God who is good, who tells us in writing on the sidewalk that we don’t have to be afraid and who tells us that love is louder than fear.