Day 41

A while back I said this faith journey isn’t for the faint of heart. I wasn’t trying to be cute or prophetic. I was simply calling ‘em the way I saw ‘em. Justus had an amazing day and I can’t wait to tell you about it. But first, I have to share some very sad news. Part of the#TeamJustus family got in a terrible accident last night. A young family, of four were in a car wreck that claimed the life of two of them. They were friends of Jason, Justus’ father. Here is what Jason wrote in a post on his wall:

“I have a friend in need of prayer and am asking TeamJustus to please help.
Cory Wall and his family were my second family while I played football at the U of O. His parents treated me as one of their own. When Cory heard about Justus he reached out to me in the very beginning with prayers and words of encouragement. He and his wife Amanda are a part of TeamJustus and shared our story. Yesterday, Cory, his wife and two sons were in an accident. His wife Amanda and 2-year old son Jackson lost their lives in the accident. I have felt the love and support from Cory and his family for many years and especially in the past month. Please join me in praying for Cory and his family and consider showing them support financially through this gofund me account.”

So in the midst of some exciting and wonderful progress for Justus, literally God answering prayers before us, we are pressed once again to ask the “why” question. And once again, I will tell you, I’m not qualified to answer the why. None of us are. That is God’s domain. Absolutely, I’m frustrated and even angry. Not because it happened in the middle of such good news for Justus; that news is still just as good. I’m angry for the same reason I was angry watching my daughter agonize over the news her son was probably not going to make it. I’m angry because I’m not God and I don’t get it. I’m not privy to all that He knows and understands – so I’m left in that same, familiar place of having to trust God. The moon is round.

But this time, I feel compelled to add my perspective not as the one in the eye of the storm, but rather one on the outside looking in. The bible in 1 Corinthians 12 talks about those that are followers of Jesus as the body of Christ. It goes on to use the imagery of the human body to describe a relationship between those that call themselves believers. It speaks of such great truth in human relations. It reminds us that everyone is important. Just like in a body, we can’t all be the eyes or the ears. How funny would we look if all we had were a bunch of eyes! And how can one part of the body say they aren’t as important as another? Everyone is important because we all fulfill different functions. That’s the beauty of community and Corinthians speaks specifically of the relationship of those that follow Jesus.

On the one hand, it’s unexplainable. After all, just because I choose to follow Jesus, how does that now make us brothers and sisters in Christ? On the other hand, much of it is explainable. Whenever we as God’s creation choose to care about something or someone, it binds us together like family. Sometimes it’s for ridiculous things like a football team (remember, I’m a big football fan, but at the end of the day it’s just a game!), and other times it’s something important like a young boy fighting for his life. Either way, to one degree or another, it binds us together. No one person is more important than another. No one is expendable. Everyone has equal value and equal worth – even when they serve different functions.

I don’t know this young family. I don’t know if they have the same spiritual beliefs as I do. If they do, then I promise you there is another reason our lives are intertwined in the most precious of ways; and the bible gives us the hope of a great reunion in heaven. But even if we don’t share that spiritual connection, we are family. They’ve been praying for my grandson… we’re family. Jason has known them for several years… we’re family. Both our families care about kids… we are family. We are on this life journey together, whether we agree on everything or not… we are family.

So #TeamJustus, I hope tonight you will all stop and take time to pray for this sweet family. Here is another truth about God that I discovered on my journey: He’s big enough to pray to when I don’t have the faintest idea what to pray for. This is one of those nights. Yes, we should pray for God to comfort this father and husband. Yes, we pray for comfort for the rest of the family left to ask “why” and deal with the incredible loss and sadness. But honestly, I know for me that there will be a lot of groaning and silence, trusting that God will know even WHAT I am wanting to pray. And thank-you #TeamJustus, because not only have you been like a prayer army, bringing these petitions before the Lord, but I know by answering this call to prayer, you have brought joy to the heart of God. The Creator desires to have these conversations with his creation. As “family” we love the Walls and we will remember them in our prayers. I would never want to come across as uncaring, but I did want to give a quick update on Justus. As I mentioned earlier, he had a great day. Again, he started off a little slow. The rest of us are a little slow in figuring things out, but we’ve finally figured out to not panic. Sure enough, he warmed up and his physical therapy friends actually had him riding a tricycle. Once again, it brought tears. It was incredibly exciting for his fan club. But before you get too excited, I want to make sure you realize he is strapped onto the bike and he’s unable to personally propel the bike. But if you would have told me 10 days ago that he’d even be able to see the bike, let alone ride it, I might not have believed you. So, yes we were thrilled! More progress needs to be made to qualify him for inpatient rehabilitation, but it’s a move in the right direction. There are still a few more meds to wean off of, but he continues to make progress each day and we are thankful!Finally, I considered showing you the picture of him on the bike, but in honor of the Wall family, I decided on this picture of the moon hidden by the clouds. A clear reminder of this faith journey we are on. We know the moon is round, but at times like this, it can be hard to even remember there is a moon. That’s where family comes in. We have the opportunity to believe when others can’t believe… we can hope when others have lost hope… we can trust when it seems impossible to trust… and we can pray even when we don’t know what to pray. So #TeamJustus, we love you. Tonight I would love for you to pray for Justus, but even more I would ask you to pray for Cory Wall and his family.