Inspirational Christian Writings
First published in February 2011, we repost Kristen's words in honor of all the volunteers who have blessed Inheritance of Hope families through the years. You have been the hands and feet of Jesus as you serve wholeheartedly with love.
“We love because He first loved us.” – 1 John 4:19
Last month, I was honored to participate in the most recent Legacy Retreat held at Walt Disney World in Orlando, Florida. Because my body was not strong enough to participate as fully as in the past, I found myself doing a lot more sitting quietly and observing what was going on around me, and something struck me as incredibly beautiful. If you have never been a part of a Legacy Retreat, it is difficult to explain, so I will try to paint you a picture …
Our son died many years ago, long before the isolation of the pandemic. My family and I were embraced with support in every way. Embraced with hugs, handshakes--the kind where they shake with their right hand and their left hand squeezes your arm, and all those face-to-face conversations over coffee or lingering lunches where friends shared their empathy with warmth and concern. They asked how we were doing and wanted to know.
By December 21, 2020, you would have to have been living under a rock to have not heard about “The Christmas Star.” Well, I sort of had. Been living under a rock, that is. The rock of living in ICU for a few days.
The convergence of Jupiter and Saturn was on my radar, so to speak, but by the time the day arrived, I had almost forgotten. Then, a friend asked if I was going to look for “The Christmas Star.” Yes, I thought. Yes. I will see it.
My teenagers were both home, a lucky by-product of a near-death experience and the pandemic. We could go see it as a family. We planned to leave the house around 6:45 p.m. and drive to my husband’s office parking deck--the office he had only visited maybe a dozen times since March, mostly to check his mail.
Living in Colorado this summer and fall was an experience unlike any I had ever had. In fact, it was a summer and fall unlike any that had happened in Colorado history. In five months, from June to October, Colorado experienced its three biggest forest fires in state history. The fires burned hundreds of thousands of acres. In Northern Colorado, the effects of the fire were suffocating (almost literally). Ash fell like snow, gathering as a thick coating of dust over all outside surfaces, the sky turned orange as smoke transitioned the sun's light into an eerie smog that made the Fort Collins landscape look more like a scene from The Martian. The fires were so big and so close that flames could be seen dancing on top of the foothills just outside of town.
It is part of my job to send an email to all the families and team members who were part of a Legacy Retreat when someone from that retreat passes away. Sometimes I feel like I am sending out one of those death notification emails every day. It is overwhelming at times. There is so much loss. The loss of someone’s husband or wife. The loss of someone’s mom or dad. That person was someone’s daughter, sister/brother, friend co-worker. But, those of us who have served many IoH families have served some families that, even though they may be at the very end of their earthly life, they still have SO MUCH life.
Originally written in September 2010, Kristen’s words hold true a decade later.
I just heard Jonny Diaz's "Waiting Room" on the radio for the first time. With another major surgery approaching and the thought of hours waiting for the results, the lyrics immediately captured my attention:
Here in this waiting room yearning for You to say go
And though I’m convinced that a yes would be best
This time You’re telling me no
It's not that I don't have an answer
It's just not the one that I'd like
But through this time Lord I must keep in mind
You're always wiser than I
Good morning everyone! I’m going to begin our time by reading just 5 words from a Bible verse. In Philippians 1:12, Paul is writing about something bad that happened to him, and he says, “What has happened to me...”
Before we see exactly how Paul continues, what about us? Has anyone here ever had something bad happen in your life? If you’ve been living on planet earth in 2020, then the answer is yes. We’ve all had the bad experience of a pandemic happening to us.
How do we respond to that? What do we say? We might say things like "What has happened to me/us…
- has messed up our plans"
- has messed up our finances"
- has stressed our relationships"
- has messed up our work"
- has messed up our entertainment"
- has messed up our sense of control"