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Monday, April 2, 2012

Finding the Way

"The Way" by Stu Mendelson
It's been almost two weeks since I made the decision to re-admit Stu to the nursing home.
This whole new wrinkle in the saga has forced me to face some pretty unpleasant stuff.

Wow----it's tough being a human being.  There's so much we don't know, and we are really so fragile.

I have been laid so low that I have no energy to go visit Stu.  I can't help guessing that the staff might  think the worst-----that I have dropped him off and washed my hands of him.   And what he himself is likely thinking.  His worst fear, abandonment.  He is having to face it, even if I haven't really abandoned him-----I'm just giving him a big break from...... me.   I always thought I could provide some kind of buffer-----um.....not my best thought.  As I look at it now, I see myself (my tiny self) standing between him and God.   If it wasn't so awfully wrong it would be funny.  Actually, it is funny.  I have to laugh.  After I cry for a while.

So, why am I sharing this with you?  

Well, as I was taking a long, prayerful walk yesterday, I kept digging underneath all the emotional debris, wondering what really matters.  The truth is, I am no hero.  And that's a good thing to face.  So, no need to be troubled about that-----it's just a fact of life.  Mistakes, even long-term, messy ones, are part of the journey.    But the situation is not just one long mistake-----there has been a beauty and a glory that shines through.   As I talked it over with one of my daughters, lamenting all the work that's been done to make this lovely little cottage happen, she remarked   "You know, Mom, no one did this based on the outcome.  They all contributed because they were moved to do it."  Well, yes, I knew that.  Except, down at the core, I was really rooting for a particular outcome.  Stu at home, getting better.  Not Stu back at the nursing home.  And that is very human of me, isn't it?

So, what does matter?   As I walked, the tears surfaced.......I thought about what I want to live for.  If this life is that fractured, that unstable, that tenuous's just not enough.

  But what about the part that shines through?   That ineffable, unstoppable hope?   That humble, forgiving, transcendent force----that Person?  He is worth living my life for.  He died for my sins, my very run-of-the-mill sins and my spectacularly stupid sins, and my hidden sins that fool me.   All of them.  He knows all about them, and he extends his hand to pull me upright.  He gives me purpose.  "We love because He first loved us"  ( Funny how scriptures burst into bloom in a context like this)

And maybe that's what I've been doing all along, in my broken, human way.  That's the only way I've got------"We have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that this all surpassing power is from God and not from us.  We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed but not in despair; persecuted but not abandoned; struck down but not destroyed.  We always carry around in us the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body." 2 Cor. 4:7-11  

It occurs to me that we are stepping into the last week of Lent------Passion Week, I think they call it.
Praying that, for all of us who believe, these foundational truths are rooted more and more deeply.
Even if that has to come through adversity.  I'm saying, it's worth it!

Love you all!  Let's celebrate the Resurrection with great joy this year!


  1. Sue, thank you for sharing even the vulnerable moments with us. I feel blessed every time I have the opportunity to peer into your story. "Perplexed but not in despair"... it is a wobbly place to be, but when you can speak through it, others gather strength as well. May God work His perfect will in your life. And may He give you and Stu the strength or the frailty that you need. You are in my thoughts and prayers.
    Mary O

    1. The strength or the frailty-----that captures the paradox of it, doesn't it, Mary? Miss you! Sue