Friday, August 14, 2009

Emerging...

I think I said this once before when we thought Jacob was waking up (a couple of weeks ago?). Waking up from a coma is not immediate like in movies. It is a slow emerging and slow engagement back into reality.

With Jacob's trach and feeding tube he can't talk. As he opens his eyes and explores his surroundings we gently tell him where he is, what his tubes are for, that he has had an accident that it was not his fault, that he is safe. We have a conversation of the obvious. It is obvious to us but so confusing to him. In a sense it is like going through infancy again - he is so dependent, he is exploring and touching, he is growing.

Jake's left hand is better able to be controlled than his right - more damage and muscle has been removed. But he is starting to move his right a ton more. It is hard to watch him not having full strength as he is right handed but I know that is what rehab and growth is all about. He is not done yet and though has a long road ahead - he is on that road. Debbie just called - I am with Jensen (awesome place to be) - she is with Jacob. He is exploring and moving a lot more - necessary but hard because he cannot do what Jacob should be able to do.

Much as I long for my son to just be able to talk to me and for him to do what he is suppose to be doing - God must look down on us and have such greater affection. God longs for us to just talk to him - not just praying request but sharing our hearts with him. God longs for us to be doing what we are meant to do - not gripped by fear, held back by emotions, attack by the enemies of doubt, insecurity, depression, etc. Not self engrandized by pride, superiority, oppression, etc. God longs for us to simply rest in him and trust in him and act in all we do with his heart.

God is not done; he is moving. Surrounded by this community we are able to focus on our son which helps us to focus on God's son. My deepest prayer is that as a community on this journey with Jacob we would see more clearly what God is doing in our midst and that we would reflect God to those in our community as we in increasing measure emerge in God. More than anything else God desires that we display his image - he made man to be is image-bearer.

Over and over again the Apostle Paul addresses the conduct of a Christian. Check out any of the letters Paul wrote and for those of us who claim to follow Christ we cannot escape the basic question: is our character becoming more like Christ - not the outside conduct - but the heart.

"Since, then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is seated at the right hand of God. Set your minds on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you also will appear with him in glory." Col 3:1-4

That last sentence is blowing me away by it's implications. When I set my focus, my centrality on Godliness, Christ shows up, he appears and we join with him in glory - now on earth - the Kingdom of God is now, "at hand". This is not a text that is talking about heaven. It is talking about how we conduct ourselves here on planet earth in the lives we live.

Paul then says to "put to death...sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed... and get rid of anger, rage, malice, slander, filthy language..." stop lying to each other and creating divisions, classes, gender and race divisions etc.

Paul is talking here to people who are following Christ - the church.

"Clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him."

Check out Colossians 3:1-17 better yet read the whole thing.

I write this not from a place of having arrived - by no stretch of the imagination - I fall so short and have blown it so many times. I have seen and continue to see Christians I respect fall short. It is so discouraging. I have also stood with and know people - ordinary people - who deeply love God and are fully pursing him, making mistakes, making them right, and trying again. Emerging like Jacob.

I think that is more then point. That we are moving with increasing increments to be real about who we are and honest about who we are working at becoming like. The more we engage with God and spend time with him the more we become like him and putting to death those things that disgust God we embrace that which causes him to rejoice. Grace is messy - it means seeking forgiveness when we would rather cover up, restoring relationships when we may get rejected, chipping away those destructive patterns that lead us farther away from God, farther away from health.

We know that the steps we take with Jacob today will not be easy - it will be messy - but God is with us. But that is what emerging is all about - getting to where we should be. Perhaps today is a day to stand!

Love, peace, hope

Tom (Dad)

9 comments:

FROG4U said...

Tom,
Once again I am so grateful for your heart. I am so grateful that you are able to share your struggle and your walk. As I sit here and read your words I can not help but be drawn closer to the father. I long to have a relationship with my father where I can just talk with him with no inhibitions. I am closer to that today than yesterday thanks to your openness in here and your heart. I thank you for being so willing to share and I am so thankful for the strength that you have in this situation. I can not know what it is like for you daily but I know that God is growing you in a might way and using you and this situation to touch the lives and hearts of so many. Thank you. I continue to pray for Jacobs complete recovery. I am so excited to hear that he is moving more and sitting. That is so much progress from where he was just three weeks ago.
Peace and Shalom to you all,

Anonymous said...

So very very happy to hear how you are communicating with Jacob. I am even more happy to hear of Jacob's progress, like a Phoenix out of the ashes! I wonder how much longer Jacob needs his trach?

It has been impossible not to experience the high's and low's with you all. I could sense when depression and exhaustion were settling-in, and I think I had "sympathy depression" or some such thing. My young child looked at me many of those days and just said "What's wrong?" How terrible to allow my moods to infiltrate his life, but how wonderful to share those feelings and Jacob's challenges with my son so he could join the hundreds who are rooting for him.

I feel so good after your last several posts. You must be feeling so elated to have some signs to encourage you. Jacob's body is working hard, and I think we will all be amazed and joyful not much further along in his journey!

Anonymous said...

I am also happy to see that Jacob is recovering. I know is being a very slow process but he will get to full recovery soon...

Caitlin Hill said...

Tom, thanks for continuing to share your heart! It is amazing to be able to see day by day how prayers are being answered and God is moving.

Heidi said...

You are so right...it is all about the heart...what's inside. Col 3 are some of my favoirte verses...I call them the "How to Dress" verses....such a constant challenge. Thank you for sharing. So glad to hear Jacob is making progress. Please let us know if there is anything we can do for you. Darrell & Heidi Mackie

Susie Boggs said...

Hello Tom (still want to call you Tommy),
I am so happy that things are coming together for Jacob.I look forward to reading about your daily visits and updates. I know that God is answering prayers each day that goes by. I bet having Jacob smile and wave at you just melted your heart... it brought tears to my eyes reading about it. : ) Hang in there~ Hugs

Lori1brat said...

I read about Jacob's story on a news-site the day after it happened - I work for the fire service and featured this story in the Daily Dispatch, which is sent out to every subscriber in the state of California. His story has touched me like none other. I read your blog every few days to get updates and admire the love, passion and courage that you show us all - EVERY SINGLE DAY. Not only your love for Jacob and your family and friends - but for GOD. He is indeed an 'Awesome God' and I thank you for sharing your lives with us ... my continued thoughts and prayers are with you all.

Bob Duffy said...

Continuing God's pseries through Psalms with me, I have come to Ps.23:

The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.
He makes me lie down in green pastures;
He leads me by quiet waters.
He restores my soul;
He guides me in paths of righteousness for His name's sake.
Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I fear no evil; for Thou art with me;
Thy rod and Thy staff, they comfort me.
Thou dost prepare a table for me in the presence of my enemies;
Thou hast annointed my head with oil;
My cup overflows.
Surely goodness and lovingkindness will follow me all the days of my life,
And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

Praise God for His continued restoration of Jake.
-the Duffys

Victoria said...

Rec'd email request to post from Carol:

Hi Tom,
Amen and amen!!! God is moving awesomely. The light is starting to flicker at the end of the tunnel. He's getting Jacob ready for rehab and for this there is gratitude. Dance till you get tired and laugh for it is good for your soul and your body.

Blessings, Carol