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Thursday, July 13, 2017

Your Dying Spouse 336 - God's Lighthouse {FMF}

OK, no punches pulled...it's just getting so absurdly bad here...way beyond what I thought I could deal with.

And it just keeps going.

Part of the night is spent curled in a ball, trying not to scream too loudly. Barb has to go to work, after all.

And the morning brings no relief, just a blur of pain and necessary movement, and sluping down when I have to, staring at nothing until I pass out and fall over.

Big bruise on the forehead. Fell over the wrong way.

Oh, and this is written ahead of time for Five Minute Friday. I'll try to add in this week's keyword when available. (The word is COMFORT. It's there.)

You've got to ask...is this worth it? Is facing this doomed last stand every single day worth the pain and the humiliation of blood and urine and other stuff, and the endless exhausting cleanup?

Is it worth going down this ever-narrowing tunnel, feeling the rough and nasty walls scraping my shoulders?

Yes. It is.

It's worth it for the love in my life, for the chance to bear witness that life can still be good when it seems so bad, for the desert sunrises and the Milky Way at midnight, turning slowly overhead.

But absent these, it would still be worth it, because this is the fight I was born to face.

This is the enemy that has chosen me...and I, in return, choose him, in a fight that can have no quarter.

There is a n appropriateness here, something of a comfort.

This is where I get to play the man, after Hugh Latimer's immortal words...just before he and his friend Nicholas Ridley were burned at the stake for heresy:

Play the man, Master Ridley; we shall this day light such a candle, by God's grace, in England, as I trust shall never be put out.


I, too, want to ignite a flame that will not go out...and that by God's grace I can show through deed and word that God's Grace extends over these Alamo walls, and down into the pit of pain, the slough of despond. 

I want to tell the world that even absent the love and comfort with which I'm blessed, I would still have Love and Comfort that can never be extinguished, however dark the night.

And night is coming, the night that will know no earthly dawn for me. This place on the Internet will go dark, and my footsteps and voice will become a memory.

But the light will shine all the more brightly, because in the end, what I have realized is that I, along with Nicholas Ridley and Hugh Latimer, and the fuel for God's lighthouse.

That lighthouse that promises and delivers so much...eternal grace, eternal life, eternal love...can only be fully seen here through the lens of pain that is transfigured by faith.

So bring it, and may my passing become a lamp unto your feet.

So...what's the musical theme to be? Something to do with light, perhaps?

Nah. Need some disco, so here's Laura Brannigan...


You may be interested in another view of this, from Kara Tippetts, on Mundane Faithfulness. I left a comment there...kind of my manifesto.

Still hoping to get the new and improved version of Blessed Are The Pure Of Heart up and running in the near future. Just haven't had the energy to do it yet...but if you would like to read it, please say so in your comment and I'd be glad to send you a PDF (which should fit your Kindle).

I have another blog, "Starting The Day With Grace". The focus is a grace quote from someone you might not expect (like, say Mick Jagger) and a short commentary. I hope you'll join me.



Marley update... been moved to a sanctuary, and Bay County will revise their 'dangerous dog' codes.

WE MADE A DIFFERENCE!

And marley has a Facebook page! Please drop by to see how happy he is today.


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.











47 comments:

  1. Your light is burning brightly Andrew, even if you can't see it right now. Thank you for your example of faith.

    Hugs,
    Melinda

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    1. Melinda, thank YOU! And the light...well, it's for others to see. Don't matter if I don't; my job is to keep it lit.

      Hugs back!

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  2. Back to Sunday School..."This little light of mine, I'm going to let it shine..."

    Oh Andrew, I don't understand you but I love your perseverance. My sister is a hospice nurse and would be beating down your door were you in her state. She can't understand why or how you are enduring this without any help.
    I am thankful that we, your online family can provide you some comfort here.
    We continue to pray!
    Love,
    Tammy

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    1. Tammy, I LOVE that song, and now it will be in my head, happily, through the night. Thank you!!!!

      I'd like to try to help you understand...for my witness to be valid, that joy can be found in spite of pain, and transcendence found maybe BECAUSE of it...I can't take any shortcuts. I have to experience the worst of this, without flinching, so that what I'm saying can stand. There are times I would kill for morphine...but I know that it's not an option for me, because the message comes first. There can be no room to say, "Well, it's easy for him to talk, he's narc'd up!"

      I can't take the ring road around hell. I have to go downtown, and come back carrying the devil's scalp.

      God made me for this. I am something beyond what most would call a hard man; I make people uncomfortable just by walking into a room.

      But THIS fight, this message, that life is good regardless...this is what God made me to do. I may lack the social graces, but I will never, ever give up.

      But it's not all me; it's not even very much me. It's the love of this community that lets me draw on the strength that's there. I could not unlock that box without being vulnerable...to love.

      Prayers appreciated, and love back, from all of us.

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  3. Dear Andrew, I am amazed at how you almost always pre-anticipate the word. I am amazed at your capacity to endure and spread your light. Prayers your way.

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    1. Paula, thank you so much...it's the hand of God, really...all I can do is write ahead of time with what He's put on my heart.

      Thank you so much for being here, and for your prayers!

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  4. Have you read "The Insanity of God" - my boys saw the movie (I made them) - and they came away telling their friends how awesome it was. One of the quotes is "after every crucifixion, there is resurrection" - the crucifixion being the challenge - the hardest of the hard - faith of going through crucifixion. It's a man's book - if you ever read it, maybe you will agree. You write: "the chance to bear witness that life can still be good when it seems so bad" - I've been trying to persuade someone I love who is facing a challenge of that - and your story - your struggle is such a powerful witness that there is still something so very worthwhile in the hard places. Thank you for your hope-filled attitude - for sharing it and planting a faith seed in our lives for when we enter the hard places!

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    1. Maryleigh, I will be looking for "The Insanity Of God" - thanks for the tip.

      I'm truly honoured that my words may help someone you love...I truly hope and pray that they will.

      Thank you so much for being here!

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  5. Oh man, Andrew.... your courage is unflinching in the face of increasingly awful circumstances. I admire your resolve, even if it must be so difficult in the everyday... You really are an example and light to us all.

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    1. Emma, thank you so much...I'm really honoured by your words, and very grateful.

      I'm so glad you're here.

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  6. Andrew, you are definitely a lighthouse! Your light shines brightly through your words as you continue to put your trust in God. You are a fighter and for this I am thankful. Your words always inspire even through your pain. May God bless and comfort you and Barbara and give you strength!

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    1. Thank you so much, Gayl! it does help that fighting's something I'm used to...and in a way I am beginning to feel that God made me for this place, this mission. I don't resent it.

      Blessings back, from both of us!

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  7. Hide it under a bushel...NO...I'm gonna let it shine. Picking up on Tammy B's Sonday School chorus. (((xo)))

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    1. This little light of mine...definitely no bushels here, Susan!

      XOXOXOWaggyWaggyWOOF!

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  8. Let your light shine brother! And your post made me think of one of my fave songs by Rend Collective Experiment called "My Lighthouse." I'm down in the 54 spot this week

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    1. Thank you so much, Tara, and I LOVE that song!

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  9. Your post reminds me of this song:

    Brightly beams our Father’s mercy,
    From His lighthouse evermore,
    But to us He gives the keeping
    Of the lights along the shore.

    Refrain:
    Let the lower lights be burning!
    Send a gleam across the wave!
    Some poor *struggling, fainting seaman
    You may rescue, you may save.

    Dark the night of sin has settled,
    Loud the angry billows roar;
    Eager eyes are watching, longing,
    For the lights along the shore.

    Refrain:
    Let the lower lights be burning!
    Send a gleam across the wave!
    Some poor *struggling, fainting seaman
    You may rescue, you may save.

    Trim your feeble lamp, my brother;
    Some poor sailor, tempest-tossed,
    Trying now to make the harbor,
    In the darkness may be lost.

    Refrain:
    Let the lower lights be burning!
    Send a gleam across the wave!
    Some poor *struggling, fainting seaman
    You may rescue, you may save.

    - Let the Lower Lights be Burning, Phillip Bliss

    Yes, my brother. Your light burns strong. Thank you. - Marie (mlsgregg.com)

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    1. I thought of this hymn as I was reading Andrew's word too Marie!
      Christy
      mywritingplayground.com

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    2. Marie and Christy, thank you so much! It's a lovely, wonderful song.

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  10. Shine On, Brother! Praying for you!

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    1. Karrilee, I will keep the light going as long as God lets me...that's a promise.

      Thanks so much for being here.

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  11. I love this line: "I want to tell the world that even absent the love and comfort with which I'm blessed, I would still have Love and Comfort that can never be extinguished, however dark the night." (Actually I love the whole post but that line really stood out!)
    Your light is certainly shining brightly!

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    1. Lesley, thank you so much for this...I am so glad that you found resonance in these my words.

      I'm so grateful that you're here.

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  12. praying for you andrew. sorry to hear that things keep getting worse:( sounds your spirit stays strong.

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    1. Martha, yeah, getting ridiculously beyond bad...but somehow my morale gets better.

      Well, now 'somehow'.

      God-how!

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  13. Thanks for your words, Andrew. Bless you.

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    1. Jeannie, thank you for being here, for the kindness and comfort you have brought. I am truly grateful.

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  14. Oh Andrew! Your light shines bright in this dark world! Your encouragement and prayers when you yourself struggle so have been and always will be dear to me.

    Disco ball twinkling star lights!!!! I LOVE THAT! Disco is always good and it's not dead, haha. My youngest and I have about worn out the Trolls soundtrack we borrowed from the library earlier this week...a little Earth Wind and Fire; a little Diana Ross remade, but it's disco

    I was just thinking of Kara Tibbets the other day...and btw,I think we all know you're a little nuts dude and we love ya all the more for it.



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    1. Yes, Christy...disco still rules!

      I'm so honoured to know you, my friend. Your courage in the faith of really heartbreaking adversity is an inspiration, and an example of true Christian heroism.

      And...thanks for loving be even through my madness! :)

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    1. Jan, will do, right to the end. I promise.

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  16. Thank you for being brutally honest about your struggle and suffering. Your light does shine as so many have said. Tonight I pray for your comfort from the God of all comfort. May you be blessed, Andrew.

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    1. Leah, thank you so very much...and I am blessed, far more than I could ever have imagined.

      I well know how Lou Gehrig could say he was the luckiest man alive. With these my friends, and all the blessings in my life, I feel that way, too.

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  17. Hi Andrew...it's so tough to think of all of this pain, but we know that this life is so fleeting and soon all pain will disappear. I'm so thankful for the place God has prepared. It's such a comfort to know you're fulfilling Gods plans for you through this time. And most importantly- Gloria is an amazing song!! Love it!!

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    1. Amy, you're so right...the pain will one day, quite soon, disappear. But the lessons, learning how to live and how to love, those lessons pain taught will stay with me through to Heaven.

      It's all part of the plan, and I am content with that.

      And I am so glad you enjoyed the song!

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  18. Praying for you Andrew and thank you for your kind words on my blog.

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    1. Cathy, thank you so much for the prayers...and I really like the way you write! You're GOOD.

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  19. Andrew... even in your toughest moments, in the blinding pain-filled war you are fighting, your life is a blessing and a testimony to your faith and God's redeeming Love and Grace. Allelujah, brother! \o/ Continued prayers as always.

    P. S. And we're all a little nuts anyway. :)

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    1. Diana, thank you so much for these uplifting and kind words...and most especially for the prayers.

      And yeah...being slightly mad is WAY more fun.

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  20. Andrew, you came over and commented on my blog 'when I grow up I want to be Brave.' Your pain seems incredible. And what I can offer is to fill in a prayer request with our church in Brisbane Australia, Glory City Church and then to watch our livestream as they pray over it. So many people have been healed by God from cancer. I've also written a series about taking communion daily and God healing people through it.

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    1. Stephen, a prayer request would be wizard...thank you so much! Tennyson said that through prayer the whole world is bound 'round the feet of God with golden chains...and I agree with that, completely. (It's from "The Death Of Arthur", the last poem in the Idylls Of The King cycle.)

      I'll look for that series you wrote - thanks!

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  21. You are amazing, Andrew! Thank you so much for sharing your pain with us...and God's comfort in the midst of it all. May God continue to provide miracles in your life: peace beyond understanding, joy everlasting and love without measure. Praying for you and yours.

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    1. Mari-Anna, thank you so much for these lovely, kind and strengthening words. I'm truly grateful for them, and most especially for your prayers.

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  22. You do ignite a flame, Andrew! Your words stir every heart and soul to see past ourselves and into your pain and your willingness to cling to God through it all. I'm in awe! Prayers!

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    1. Bonnie, thank you so much for this lovely, gracious comment...I'm deeply grateful for your kind words, and for your prayers.

      And you remain in my prayers.

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  23. "The darker the night, the greater the light shines...I'm walking with Jesus, the light of the world".
    A song a friend of mine sang while going through cancer.

    To me, nothing comforts like a song about Jesus, but disco is certainly welcomed. "A merry heart does good like medicine" and don't leave out a bit of sideways humor. I always told my kids, a bad experience now will always hold some nuggets of humor for a good story later. Prayers for you and yours. #97 this week.

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  24. May God continue to comfort you in your pain. I continue to pray for you and Barb and the pups.

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