It has been fun to continue receiving feedback for “99 balloons”. Thanks for all of the encouragement and prayers. We are also thankful that we have been able to interact with some families going through similar experiences.
In the non-profit arena, we are currently assembling folks who want to be involved. A questionnaire directed to groups who are already conducting respite nights is in the works and should be sent out soon. If you know of a group already doing something similar, please let us know so we can send them our questions (firstname.lastname@example.org).
With all of the compliments and praise that we have received as of late, a counterbalance of vulnerability is necessary. If anything through Eliot’s story is super-human, I assure you, it is not his parents. Doubt, worry, anger- these are all too familiar; and this is where we are, when left to ourselves. But, our Father, refuses to leave us to ourselves, and comes on the scene to make all things new. More than ever, we are aware of our shortcomings; therefore, when told repeatedly otherwise, we must interject or else be hypocrites.
When faced with real struggles, I admit my desire to paste on a smile and quote a bumper sticker about my big God. Somewhere in my years of church-going, Christian school attending, and just plain watching, I picked up that this how we do it. Now, don’t get me wrong, I am not placing blame. For this is exactly what I wanted to do when tough times came my way. Repeating this routine comes easy, naturally- like sucking in my gut as soon as I put on my bathing suite.
When trials and adversity come knocking, my propensity urges me to see what lurks outside my door and call it a kitten. Nothing can faze me. I belittle that which looms. I make it small, tame, and manageable. Simultaneously, whittling God’s size relative to that of my foe. That thing outside my door is nothing more than a kitten. There is no real problem. So, I ignore the visitor and go on about my business.
Framing it as faith, I proudly look a lion in the eyes and call it a kitten. I look down on others who are not able to do the same. Pacifying myself with whatever I can. I am too busy to answer the door. All is well.
This routine works quite nicely until, well, until it does not work at all.
When the unwanted visitor of affliction is too big, too much, and is overcoming you. When all you can quote is a different kind of bumper sticker (**** happens). When incurable is the diagnosis.
This is when the default failed me.
When a lion is at the door. There is no use denying it.
Thus, I have been witness to a strange paradox of faith. When I acknowledge that, yeah, I’m an appetizer if that beast comes calling. That, indeed, this is too much for me. When I embrace the difficulty and call it such. Then greater glory is the result.
Conceding that the situation is too big for me, acknowledges also that I need a big God. The road to strength starts at fragility. A god that cannot deal with my lions is no God at all.
when I am weak, then I am strong.
II Cor 12:10