January 2019 Update and Prayer Requests


Thank you to all of you who have continued praying. Your love for Christine and her family continues to move her and her community. Christine is still in the “long slog” of recovery, working hard at being attentive to what God is directing and inviting, while desiring to love well.

Here’s her medical update and some prayer requests:

  1. Her senses continue to be compromised in various ways: hearing, smell, sensation in her face, vision, vestibular balance affected by mild colds, and saddest for her, taste. Please pray for restoration.
  2. Doctors are still determining the status of the infection along the bone line where the facial reconstruction was stabilized. There will be a redo of a procedure this next week, but more importantly is the need for the doctors to ascertain whether the infection is still there or not. Please pray for visibility and clarity in the evaluation.
  3. The next assessment regarding the carotid arteries will be in a month or so. Please pray for the partial aneurism to shrink to the point of becoming a non-issue, and for both carotid arteries to be at 100% flow.
  4. There are 7 surgeries that are still being considered, and decisions will be made in the next two months as to their urgency. Pray that none will be necessary or, if so, then minimal and least invasive.
  5. Her cognitive fatigue has steadily improved, although on any given week, she might last until later in the evening or hit a wall at 5pm. Please pray for greater predictability and increased stamina each week.
  6. Therapy exercises need a fresh commitment, especially related to her vocal cords and vision. Pray for consistency and progress.

Christine continues to miss full engagement with her community, but is slowly re-connecting as capacity and opportunity allows, and is still processing and orienting around a new unfamiliar and everchanging landscape. In her own words:

“While I’d still describe life as ‘having landed on Perelandra’ there are anchoring points that offer gravitational stability…living tucked into the Shepherd’s care and love, loving Cliff and my full-of-life-and-feist kids, being present to the simple things, and offering attentiveness to the people before me whether friends, therapists, doctors, and even a few individuals who live on the margins of society. There is so much abundance and beauty in these anchoring points despite loss, grief, and regular disorientation.”

A friend of Christine’s wrote her a letter quoting Eugene Peterson. Both her friend’s words and his speak to aspects of the Perelandra landscape she’s walking and gathering the gifts of this new territory:

The fear of the Lord points to the way of life we cultivate as Christians. A world has been opened to us by revelation in which we find ourselves walking on holy ground and living in sacred time. The moment we realize this, we feel shy, cautious. We slow down, we look around, eyes and ears alert. Like lost children happening on a clearing in the woods and finding elves and fairies signing in circle, we stop in awed silence to accommodate this wonderful but un-guessed at revelation…. The moment we find ourselves unexpectedly in the presence of the sacred, our first response is to stop in silence. We do nothing. We say nothing. We fear to trespass inadvertently; we are afraid of saying something inappropriate. Plunged into mystery, we become still, we fall silent, all our senses alert. This is the fear of the Lord.

This image, painted by another friend, reminds Christine of this confusing and beautiful wonder. The shepherds, in the town of the Old Testament shepherd David, were told of their Great Shepherd… how confused they must have been, disoriented in their wordly powerlessness, and yet full of wonder. It has a certain resonance with Christine.

Please pray for Christine to have wisdom and discernment to know the ‘when’ and ‘what’ of saying “yes” and “no” and “wait.” For discouragement to remain at bay, and stamina and hope to grow. Please also continue to pray for the Warner family as they heal from trauma, bond, articulate pain and joy, learn new ways of loving each other in this season of so many transitions.

Random things that she’s noticing:

  • Poetry is offering articulation and encouragement these days “uttering the un-utterable” things of the heart.
  • Christine has discovered that Sriracha mixed into cranberry preserves is a fabulous sensation, even without taste!
  • Our hearing is a combination of sound waves hitting multiple domino bone vibrations, crystals, fluid, membranes, movement of 18,000 hair cells, chemicals, electrical signals, nerves, and neurotransmitters communicating with the brain. And that is only what medicine can perceive.
  • We are fearfully and wonderfully made!