G'ampa C's Blog

Tuesday, April 17, 2007


Today I wrote the senior blessing for Stacie, my youngest. Hard to imagine how the years fly by. She is a good kid, and a fine young woman. As I type this she is going over her choices for Senior Pictures with her mom. She has had her moments when we were soooo frustrated with her, but that's true of all kids, I imagine. I wouldn't trade her off for anything, and will miss her when she leaves home more than I can easily tell her. I love her as a daughter, a friend and a sister. I guess that's love times 3...

Friday, April 06, 2007

How Does it Feel?

Wednesday night our church visited a number of different rooms to experience what some might call the stations of the cross. Then we all filed quietly into the candle-lit auditorium and symbolically placed our burdens, represented by small stones with our names on them, at the foot of the cross. After some scripture reading and singing, we dismissed. The nature of the environment was uplifting, but sober. One of the children I have been close to since her birth came and hugged me and I whispered to her that I loved her. She hugged me again and then ran to her mother and hugged her in tears. After some discussion and sobbing through her tears, she said I reminded her how much Jesus loved her.

I had no words. Then her mother asked me: "How does it feel to be Jesus?"

Wednesday, April 04, 2007

900 Miles of Compassion

Last week my wife and I were chaparones for the high school band trip, which was really a ski trip to Winter Park with a little band on the side. We rode in a van with another band booster and pulled a trailer with food and instruments. On Sunday, a couple of hours before we were to leave, a freshman girl broke her leg (both bones, one twice) below the knee. No insurance, parents couldn't figure out how to get there, and after discussion with the doctor and her parents, we agreed to haul her and her sister home in the van. (Yes, she had good meds.) She rode in the van for 17 hours straight, without a single complaint, and it was not a smooth ride. We were amazed. Sometimes, her pain showed as she would cry in her sleep and tears would run down her cheeks. We felt deeply our responsibility, and prayed often. Each of us knew the depth of what we were doing. A fender bender, a really bad turn, a minor accident... all could be life-threatening for her. We were advised by the medical team in Winter Park to stay in cell phone range and stay as close to medical help as possible, so the trip was well over 900 miles. It was a stressful journey, and we were all exhausted. By the time we delivered her to her parents at the doctor's office, we felt differently about this tough little girl with black nail polish and too much mascara. We were dismayed at the way the nurses shucked her out of the van like pulling an ear of corn. It was too much. Then she had to wait until today (two days) for surgery. She is probably out of surgery this evening, and I have thought about her ever since we got back. There is a bond formed out of giving care to someone who is depending on me, something I have noticed before and something common in the medical profession...

But all day I have been wondering what it really means to bear each other's burdens. Why does it change us so much? Why are we so unwilling to let someone else bear our own? What is it about providing care that is so deep? What did Jesus feel when he healed the lepers, the blind, the lame, the sick? What did it feel like to look someone in the eyes and forgive him of all his sins? What kind of bonds did he form when he called Lazarus out of the tomb, or told the thief to meet him in paradise, or told the Centurian his daughter was alive?

Maybe we are called to bear each other's burdens because of where it takes us. It takes us to the brink of heaven itself, for we share in the love of Jesus in our compassion.

Maybe that means something really deep; deeper than I have ever understood. Maybe I can allow a few close friends to really share my burdens, thereby allowing them to sit in the shadow of our Lord at the gates of heaven. How could I give a deeper, richer, more life-altering gift? And how could I ever receive such a blessing without being changed forever?

I don't know what that little gal will remember about me a year or ten years from now, but I will never forget her, and never forget that trip. Jesus found one more way to soften my old heart through the compassion he showed others, compassion that spread to me through a kid whose life was at once in my hands and in God's hands. Perhaps I am designed to be at once in my brother's (or sister's) hands and God's hands. Perhaps that is what the Law of Christ involves.

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