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Thursday, September 1, 2016

Your Dying Spouse 201 - Send Me {FMF}

Once again it is time for Five Minute Friday, the keyword-driven weekly timed writing challenge hosted by Kate Motaung.

The work this week is...well, again, I've got to write ahead, because I don't know if I'll be up to writing to The Word From Kate. But if I can, I will try to work it in.

(The word is PATH, and it fits nicely at the end.)

One of the big threats to the soul that arises in a terminal illness is self-pity, and easing into the mentality of a victim.

It's insidious, because heck, dying is uncomfortable, humiliating (incontinence and puking blood, anyone?) and it just plain hurts.

Why me?

Add to that the sympathy you receive...it's well-meant, yes, but it's easy to take sympathy too much to heart and allow pathos to turn into bathos.

But the fact is, while you're dying you should not only be living, you should be serving.

In an effort at a multimedia presentation, here's a clip from the best Christian movie ever made, "Fury", starring Brad Pitt; it's about an American tank crew fighting in Germany at the end of WW2. The scene you're about to see (I hope you do, it's only a minute long) takes place just before the climactic 'crossroads' scene'.


Send me.

We always have something to offer for the ALmighty. He was not created to kowtow to our wishes; we were made to become His companions in eternity...and part of that is the apprenticeship of doing the hard work, here and now.

Dying can limit our abilities, but it doesn't excuse us from the requirement to serve. Bring to the table, or to the fight, that which you can.

Maybe all you can do, stricken with cancer, is to be kind to the wife or husband who's caring for you. Maybe all you can really do is lift his or her spirits with a smile or a joke.

And that looks like nothing, compared to the mission trip your neighbour just took to Upper Volta.

But remember the story of the woman who gave a single coin, which was all she had, as a temple offering. Sometimes all you can give is everything you have.

And why? Why not just sit back and enjoy, as much as you can, what you you still have? Why not be a victim, when you've clearly been beset by a disease that's not your fault?

Again, I'll turn to "Fury" for the answer. This scene takes place a little later than the first one, when Sgt. Collier (Brad Pitt) has been wounded and is being bandaged by 'Bible' (Shia LeBouef).


I believe we're here for a reason; that our lives matter, and that no matter how far we sink, no matter how diminished we become...

We always have something to offer that is a treasure to the Almighty.

Here am I. Send me. On the path You have chosen.

Thy will be done, and I will do it.

I strongly urge you to see 'Fury'; it is not always comfortable to watch, but it depicts war and warriors with unflinching accuracy. The faith expressed is unambiguous (and intentionally so, according to the people who made the film).

And...for what it's worth, when I'm dead, Barbara has said that to bring me back alive for an hour or so all she has to do is watch this film, because I'm so similar to Sgt. Collier that it's spooky.

And that is probably the only time I will ever be compared to Brad Pitt!


Marley update...he's received a lot of support, but STILL NEEDS HELP TO BE SAVED.

WE ARE MAKING A DIFFERENCE!

He's up to nearly 200,000 signatures, but the local authorities are dragging their feet. They think that we'll give up and go away. We won't.

If you have a mment, I'd like to ask you to visit Change.org to consider a petition to free a 'death row dog' who has been separated from his family for ten months over a misunderstanding. Marley was saved from Afghanistan by a US serviceman; please help make sure this story doesn't end in needless tragedy! Marley's gotten a lot of support...but he still needs our help.


If you can, please do leave a comment. I am trying to answer all, and I am failing, but please know this - I read and treasure each one.

Below are my recent releases on Kindle -please excuse their presence in the body of the blog. I haven't the energy to get them up as 'buttons' in the sidebar. You can click on the covers to go to the Amazon links.







37 comments:

  1. Andrew, again, I so appreciate your perspective. We can always serve. Whether it's, as you mentioned, being the best we can be to caretakers, or through praying, or through a more active method. We can pour out what we have for others. I love that you brought up the widow and her single coin. God looked at her heart, not her physical offering.

    You offer much to the blogging world. Your thoughtful posts and comments on others' blogs (and on mine) minister. Your encouragements and exhortations are powerful my friend.

    Praying for you and Barb.

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    1. jeanne, thank you so much. It's been a tough few days since I wrote this, so please pardon both my tardiness and my just saying, "Thanks". I do appreciate you.

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  2. So good. When we've been given less than desirable circumstances to go through the easy path to take is to give up and sulk in self-pity but serving lifts those we serve as well as our own spirits. Fury is such a great movie! Might talk my husband into going out into Kathmandu in search of a copy tonight.

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    1. Amber, you're absolutely right...self-pity is an easy out (and often tempting), but it really leads nowhere.

      Thank you so much for being here, and please pardon my late reply!

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  3. You know I really like this post. But I do wonder, what is "bathos"? I'm sure hubs and I have watched FURY...I'll ask. I'm not a good movie watcher but this week my grandson and I saw Pete's Dragon and I loved it! (read my post...) xoxoxo to all you humans and the furry ones too.

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    1. Pete's Dragon! Haven't seen it but heard it's really cool.

      Bathos is essentially a useless kind of 'woe is me, woe is the world'. Pathos is the acknowledgement of genuine tragedy. (You could say that pathos creates genuine compassion in the observer, whilst bathos is more concerned with the reactions of the observer rather than the 'victim'.)

      XOXOXO WAGGY Waggy WAGGY! back! (And sorry for the late reply)

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  4. I haven't seen Fury but I will put it on the list πŸ˜ƒ appreciate reading your words and perspective on how we can serve even in suffering.

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    1. Emma, thank you so much (and please pardon my delay in replying).

      Fury is a hard movie to watch (it portrays war quite accurately), but if you want to see the true nobility (and I have seen it) that exists in unexpected places...it's a must see. The best Christian film I have ever seen, and actually the best film, period.

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  5. I haven't seen Fury but I will put it on the list πŸ˜ƒ appreciate reading your words and perspective on how we can serve even in suffering.

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  6. Andrew, as usual your post is so good. I love your positive perspective that everyone has something to give if only a smile for the care giver or a joke to make them laugh. It may seem small when compared to what others do, but in God's eyes it's a lot bc it's all they have. I need to remind my son of this, bc he sometimes thinks he just isn't contributing enough, but I tell him he's doing what he can and that is enough. I've never seen Fury, but you've got me curious. Normally I don't like graphic war movies, but occasionally there is one so good as not to be missed. Years ago I watched "The Killing Fields" and it was one of those. Blessings to you, dear Andrew!

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    1. Gayl, thank you so much, and please excuse the delayed response. The weekend was literally bloody. Sorry to be graphic, but there it is. Dying sucks.

      You're absolutely right in what you tell your son. Do what you can.Period. Never, ever compare.

      Fury is worth seeing. It's exceptionally graphic in parts, but war is never understated. Hemingway tried with romantic understatement, but failed miserably.

      War's the greatest obscenity in the temporal world, but it opens the doors of Heaven to true grace and nobility...and that is what you'll see here.

      And think of a Chinese Brad Pitt, and you'll know me a bit better!

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  7. i enjoyed your perspective today andrew:) i'm sure it would be quite easy to fall into the trap of wanting to be a victim when you learn you are dying of a terminal illness. the reminder that we are here to serve is helpful...even if we have no ability to do it physically. i like the words of those in past church history who said, in answer to the question What is the chief end of man? Man's chief end is to glorify God and enjoy Him forever. They gathered together and wrote this up in the 1500's. (it was written along with a whole bunch of other things too!) pretty awesome isn't it?

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    1. Martha, thank you for this (and please excuse my delay in replying...horrible few days).

      You've added so much here, with the church perspective...and right on target! Thank you so much!

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  8. What a fantastic reminder, Andrew. The widow's mite was worth far more than the fortune in God's economy. I sometimes need the reminder that, no matter how little I think I have to give, He's given me so much more than I recognize and I can do more with it than I might realize.

    *This should be my motto, too: "I believe we're here for a reason; that our lives matter, and that no matter how far we sink, no matter how diminished we become...We always have something to offer that is a treasure to the Almighty. Here am I. Send me. On the path You have chosen. Thy will be done, and I will do it."

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    1. Carol, thank you o much for this - and for simply being here. You're appreciated. And please pardon my delay in replying. Circumstances, you know.

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  9. I haven't seen that movie yet. I'll have to check it out. So much THIS: "Sometimes all you can give is everything you have." You are doing just that friend. So glad you're still here friend. I'm in the 40 spot this week.

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    1. Tara, thank you so much! I am so glad you're HERE, and so grateful for your comment. And please pardon my tardiness in replying.

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  10. WOW! That was so powerful. The power of God it must be to be able to write "We always have something to offer that is a treasure to the Almighty." Blessings and peace to you and yours. Stopping by from FMF!

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    1. Leigh, thank you so much! And please pardon my delay in replying.

      I'm just so glad you're here.

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  11. So true- it can be easy to feel we have nothing to offer at times but we all have something to offer to God. I love the link you made with the widow's two coins and the reminder that it is about giving God our all and seeking his path for us, which will be different from his path for others. I love how you model such a positive attitude. I haven't heard of that movie- I'll have to look into it.

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    1. Lesley, thank you so much for this - I truly appreciate the warmth and thought in your words. (And please pardon my tardiness in replying. Tough days.)

      Fury is intense, and it's accurate. There's no romanticisation, but there is grace. Please, if you see it - watch to the end.

      You will be glad you did.

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  12. If nothing else - though your words are more than "nothing else" and speak volumes to many, myself included, of course; but, these words are true and precious in any circumstance...

    "We always have something to offer that is a treasure to the Almighty. Here am I. Send me. On the path You have chosen. Thy will be done, and I will do it."

    How very hard it is to say to the Almighty, "Thy will be done, and I will do it." We do want so much to just sit around, or lie around, and be the victim! I for one need to get out of that rut and do the "job" that He has put before me...and if being the caregiver to one who certainly doesn't (always) seem to appreciate it, then..."Thy will be done."

    Prayers for you, the brave "soldier" that you are; and the embodiment of "Brad Pitt" too!!

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    1. Barbara, thank you so much for this! Please excuse my tardy reply, and please accept our thanks for your prayers.

      I'm so grateful for your presence here.

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  13. I had never heard of that movie, and putting in my movie bank memory to watch. Thanks for bringing to our attention. And yes, so agree that we are of service wherever we are at. Jesus teaching is just love one another as we are loved (and we are loved unconditionally by God). And calls us to forgive others and we are forgiven. In my perspective, that is serving to the fullest!

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    1. Lynn, I do hope that you will have the chance to see Fury. I was going to say 'enjoy', but this is a film that packs a terribly powerful spiritual message...and those are not always fun.

      Thank you so much for being here!

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  14. "Sometimes all you can give is everything you have." I love that Andrew! I'm going to write it down and hang it on my fridge. Your words and resilience never cease to amaze me. No, amaze isn't right, it's not good enough. You are inspiration and courage and a wealth of knowledge, with more life in one finger than most people have in their entire body. I so enjoy reading what you have to say.

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    1. Lara, please pardon the delay in my response. Your words both honour and humble me. Thank you so very, very much.

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  15. I often feel limited by Cerebral Palsy. I can't give rides or bake or walk at the same pace as those that can walk. But I do try my best to give my heart, no matter how small it seems to me or others. I know God sees it differently.

    Thank you for the reminder, Andrew, that God has given us abilities in our disabilities so His light can shine through.

    Haven't seen Fury either but may have to look into it. Visiting from fmf. ☺️

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    1. Cerebral palsy...oh my word, what a challenge.

      You're a hero, dear brave heart.

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  16. You're right! It's not comfortable to watch, war movies rarely are, but it's such a powerful movie! My husband usually challenges me to watch them because they inspire him to courage and honour. I usually end up weeping, but that's ok too.
    You made me giggle with the Brad Pit comments. Your wife sounds like an incredible woman! I once received a prophetic word about being like a female version of Thor (Chris Hemsworth). I was so inspired, I wanted to photoshop my face onto his muscular physique. Haha, no I didn't do it, but maybe you should with Brad Pit's pic (i.e. use the pic from Troy).
    Strength for you, my friend. (#18 today)

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    1. Shauna...you're Thor. There is no question. Read enough of the heart that comes through your words.

      There is weeping here, when watching a film like Fury. The service dogs watch it with me, and though this may be a bit of a spoiler...they are crying at the end.

      They get it.

      Thank you so much for being here today! Please excuse my delayed response; a bad few days. But you are no less valued.

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  17. My dear Andrew (or should I say Brad), Once again your words are what I need to hear. I am at a fork in the road again in my career and this Wednesday the Lord will choose either stability in a job that does not meet all my basic needs or he will send me down the unemployment path again after the end of the 6 month training program.

    Thank you for your words my friend. I believe in you and your mission as you bravely serve on the front lines. You are a wonderful example of a good and faithful servant.

    May God continue to bless you and Barb.

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    1. Michele, please pardon my late reply. It is Wednesday evening as I write this, and I have been praying for you, for the best outcome the Lord can provide.

      You're a pillar of strength and faith, my friend. Thank you so much for being here!

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  18. I have to say this is my absolute favorite post of yours. Inspiring and encouraging. Every single day is for His purpose and in His will. What am I doing to remain faithful to His purpose and will? Wishing you well, Andrew.

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    1. Kristina, please excuse my long delay in responding to your wonderful, kind comment. I truly value your good wishes, and draw much inspiration from your writing. You're so stalwart and true in your faith!

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  19. Finding the courage to look death in the eyes and say, "Send me." is certainly an inspired thought. In the pain and in the fear, that is where the miracle happens. The rich meat of your words, again, hit my heart and challenged it anew.
    May I give what I have and use my limitations as reasons not to dive in an serve--as I am, here and now.
    Grace and strength to you, Andrew and Barb.
    I'm praying.

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    1. Cheryl, thank you so much for this, and please pardon my tardy reply. Your words are a balm to my soul on what has been rather a difficult day.

      We truly appreciate your being here, and your prayers.

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