Monday, May 13, 2013

Never Alone

Too much to write from the inkwell of a too-full heart today.....but I must post a remembrance that bears repeating.

Endurance is not the ability to bear a hard thing, 
but to turn it into glory.

~William Barclay

The question is not whether we are going to have to do hard, awful things--because we will. 
The question is whether we are going to have to do it alone.

~scribbled on my grocery receipt, author unknown

Today is Cindy Lipscomb's birthday.

May 13 will always be Cindy's birthday, though she is now in heaven with their two daughters. Her youngest, Jesse Anne, her husband, her parents, and her host of dear friends and soul-sisters are left to remember her today as we pay tribute to her generous, gracious life.

Generosity. She was always giving. Cindy's was the first gift closet I ever saw. First time I ever heard the term, it was from her lips. But a closet space was only a symbol of the harvest of gifts she bestowed on others--whether objects of beauty for the home or gifts and graces to strengthen the spirit--she gave from a vast reservoir of generosity. 

She was a precious friend. She will always be remembered by so many who love her.

Cindy clearly represents to us an example of bearing hard things.... of doing hard things well.

She never set out to be an example. She didn't ask for the life she led. But she accepted the path that unfolded before her and walked it one stepping stone at a time with all that was within her.

All the love.

All the faith.

All the courage.

And the thing that shaped her most was the transforming power of the indwelling Christ, that which we call the presence of God: She was never alone.

Cindy was surrounded by those who love her. Mat spoke words of tribute at her service of resurrection and shared that she was never alone. Cindy never spent one night or day outside the presence of a loving friend or family member during the entirety of her illness. We can imagine the kind of comfort it gives to have someone beside us during trials.

Others of us do not know the joy of such companionship. Many feel they suffer alone right now. The pain feels too great to offer to another to bear; the burden is too heavy or too shameful. Sometimes we prevent others from helping because of our pride.

We, too, will endure great difficulty--whether illness, grief, addiction of a loved one, or loss of any sort. It is the nature of life that change happens. Worlds collide. And how do we change to accommodate it? How do we develop coping skills that help us function when the bottom falls out and we think we cannot stand again?

I don't have pat answers. No handy quote-on-the-go will do. But I do know what is worthy of our trust and am compelled to share the message of faith Cindy asked me to write about 18 months ago in chronicling her journey.

So it is May 13, and we thank God for Cindy. We thank God for dear friends who share the road with us. We continue to pray for Jesse Anne and Mat and Sudie and Buddy and Caye and each family member as they continue through life and for friends who are touched by Cindy's life that began today years ago.

Not only is the presence of God in Jesus Christ to be experienced occasionally, the indwelling Christ is to become the shaping power of our lives. This the dynamic of our spiritual formation.

~ From Alive in Christ by Maxie Dunnam.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

When Enough is Enough

Lord, bless us with enough tears to keep us human
Enough humor to keep us wise
Enough setbacks to keep us humble
Enough accomplishments to keep us confident
Enough patience to teach us endurance
Enough hope to teach us trust
Enough friends to give us love
Enough memories to give us comfort
And enough faith to keep us going.
Shared by Rev. Vicki Hughes