Trey was diagnosed with Neuroblastoma on December 24th 2010. Late at night on December 31st from a room at Children’s hospital I posted this…
It’s New Years and I can’t kiss a loved one. The only one near me is behind bars in his crib, sleeping. Rachel is at home with Junior and Bella and I am here, all alone. However, I am not alone. My Lord and Savior Jesus Christ has put 341 of you here with me. Each of you represent many others and the result is that this room is filled with thousands who are with Trey and me now, keeping us from being alone. Thank you for being here with us. Now, I have something for you. With all due respect to your local congregation, I would like you to come to Rolling Hills this Sunday at 10 a.m. I will be preaching (Pastor Bill is out of town and offered to come back but I assured him I was more than ok to do this) and God has put some mighty things on my heart to share with you. Please, if you can, be there. I more than understand if you can’t. Until then (or my next post) thank you for being here with us. Happy New Year!
When I delivered that sermon something very special happened. Well, I kind of hope (and pray) that many special things happened that day. Specific to me though it was a very very special morning. Yes, I was able to deliver a sermon just 9 days or so after Trey’s diagnosis and 6 days in the hospital. I wasn’t a blubbering mess nor was I completely detached and removed. Not only did I not break down but really felt like God spoke through me. All that is true, but it is not what I am referring to when I say that something special happened. Further, I really didn’t realize it at the time. I didn’t realize it fully until just a few days ago.
Corporate comfort. Please know this, I have no real idea what I’m talking about here. I was never taught this, researched this, or have put a ton of thought into this. If that doesn’t keep you reading I don’t know what will. All that being said corporate comfort (as I have named it) happened. As I was in church worshiping the other day I was thinking about Trey and what does and may lie ahead and remembered that sermon that day. Faces came to my mind. I remembered many different people who came that day. I don’t remember one conversation I had that day. I don’t remember really, anything else from that day. Faces…people who showed up to support me/us are what I remembered. As I thought of all of those people (it was standing room only), and even as I type this now, I was/am filled with emotion. I felt so supported. I felt so loved. I felt quite simply that I WAS NOT ALONE. It was not not what any one person did, it was the collective actions of many who blessed me/us.
Now, most of you aren’t going to be preaching days within hearing the worst news of your life. Further, there is no real cookie cutter way to look at this. All I’m saying is that if you know of someone who’s world is turning upside down for whatever reason go ahead and show up. You don’t need to barge in or become their savior, just show up. You have no idea how much it could/will mean to the person that is in the midst of the tragedy.
Lastly, if you are the person who is in the middle of the fire, do your very best not to board up the windows and bar the door. You don’t need to bare your soul to everyone all the time (or start a website where you bare your soul all the time…those people huh?) but create cracks where at least some people or persons can come through and…just show up. It is also important to let your situation come out through those cracks in the first place. If people have no idea you are suffering then they can’t be there for you. Yes, true comfort is amazing and very much needed but just knowing that people care…and are there…or are willing to come to wherever you are is healing as well. When I think of the early days of Trey’s diagnosis and treatment I remember that day when I was preaching. I see the faces of those who loved me, and it comforts me.