Gratitude and Invitation


As we mark 5 months since the accident, one of Christine’s friends calls this season “the long hard slog.” We have witnessed unbelievable miracles by the hand of God. In the early days and weeks right after the accident every step felt like a steep mountain climb up or down with dramatic implications and clarity. Now it feels more like a valley with occasional fog and unknown twists and turns and waiting.

We are rejoicing and grateful for:

  • Ankles and fractures seem to be healing or healed. There is no longer any pain
  • Technology that can support hearing limitations
  • Continued gratitude in the news of significant healing of carotid arteries (see last blog post)
  • Christine’s growing strength

Christine continues to be deeply grateful for the love and support of this loving community, near and far. Her days are currently filled with therapy, exercises, managing household rhythms and schedules, re-engaging community life slowly, and discerning what the Lord has for her to focus on the next six months.

A dear friend of hers who lived in Japan, shared this quote with her this past week that resonated with her. It reminded her of the wonder and mystery of the incarnation, she said “Our God is one who enters our suffering and knows; that’s the kind of God I’ll follow.”

Dr. Takashi Nagai was a Japanese catholic who was working in Nagasaki when the bomb dropped, killing many Japanese Christians (including his wife) and destroying Urakami Cathedral, the largest Christian Church in East Asia. Of the 12,000 parishioners, 8500 died in the bombing. The bomb exploded 500m. from the church. Dr. Nagai’s faith remained and he became an influential force; writing and teaching and sharing Christ. He wrote these wonderful words after meeting Helen Keller and Michio Miyagi, a blind Koto player and composer:

“Unless you have suffered and wept, you really don’t understand what compassion is, nor can you give comfort to someone who is suffering. If you haven’t cried, you can’t dry another’s eyes. Unless you’ve walked in darkness, you can’t help wanderers find they way. Unless you’ve looked into the eyes of menacing death and felt it’s hot breath, you can’t help another rise from the dead and taste anew the joy of being alive.”

Christine feels like this accident has been an invitation by Jesus to step further into the fellowship of his suffering. In that place she feels like she is, on the one hand, in greater need of his compassion, but on the other hand, more able to join him in his compassion for the suffering of others.

Please pray for:

  • Continued decrease of inflammation and swelling from surgery so that Christine’s specialists know how to proceed
  • Protection and healing of all threat of infection
  • Full healing of partial aneurysm and carotid arteries from 50% blockage to no blockage
  • Restoration of senses: smell, taste, hearing, sight, and feeling
  • As Christine, Cliff, and the kids settle into the fall and the “moving target” new normal, that they would experience God’s grace, provision, creativity, peace, and joy
  • That Christine would grow in stamina and strength