Tuesday, October 11, 2011


Yesterday was Canadian Thanksgiving.  Geraldine posted a beautiful list of things she is thankful for.  Not just thankful for, thankful TO GOD for.  All of this while Connor was in the hospital, family gathered around, waiting and watching him struggle.  She is not a saint or someone special (well, I think she is, but you know what I mean!).  She is someone who has learned to live her life on her knees.  And yesterday, God called Connor Home to Himself.

Connor cracking up as Geraldine
reads him his favorite book (2007).
In my mind, I was always going to be there for her when Connor died.  But, I’m not.  I’m far away, and the bitter reality is, I will not be there for his funeral.  I will not be there with my friend.  We’ve been friends for 33 years, and now, when she is in pain, when her world is shaken to the core, now, I am not there.  I feel like I’ve abandoned her, and I hate it.

I am here in the D.R. following God’s call.  In my head, I know this is where I am supposed to be.  In my head, I know Geraldine and her family know this, too.  But, my heart is breaking today.  As I read her short, beautiful post last night, telling us that Jesus had taken Connor by the hand and brought him Home, I cried like a child, feeling helpless and empty. 

This is part of what being called away means, I know.  I have a friend whose father died unexpectedly, just last week, while her family was serving in another part of the world.  Another friend here could not be home to comfort a close friend whose son died.  Throughout the years, many in missions have missed significant parts of the lives of their friends and families.  Not only death and illness, but also marriages and new babies.   
Suddenly Jesus’ words about hating father and mother, wife and children, brothers and sisters (Luke 14:26) take on new meaning.  To be a disciple of Christ, I need to love Him so much that all my other loves seem like hate.  I need to give everything to Him – all my relationships, my desires, my plans, my very life. 
Jerry (Connor's amazing dad & Geraldine's
amazing husband) with Connor.

Today, I am grieving, and not wanting to be here.  I want to leave and go to be with my sister in Christ.  But, I will stay.  I will stay and remember that the women of El Callejon don’t have the community of faith that Geraldine does.  The women don’t all have the deep belief in Jesus that she does.  They, too, suffer because of the brokenness of this world.  They need to be reminded that in the midst of their pain, Jesus loves them.  I am here.  This is my call. 
I will stay, not because I feel like it, but because God is faithful.  I will stay, trusting that He will bring love and strength and hope and peace to the Vanderveen family.  He will be their comfort.  I will stay, and allow Him to use me in El Callejon, where all of those things are needed too.  I will stay.

No comments:

Post a Comment