Apr 30, 2012

Think Big Thoughts

Lately I find myself avoiding the lofty. I watch television I can easily understand or predict. I read books that follow the basic plot with predictable characters. Even some of the music I currently listen to is probably considered by many to be low brow. And who do I blame? The baby of course. He eats up so much of my time and work eats up the rest. So when I can sit down for a moment to myself I do not have any energy left for the lofty thoughts, books, or music. I just want to allow my brain to become an inactive mush.

Usually in the evenings after K.B. has been put down for bed I melt into the couch, cover myself with a blanket, and hide away for a while. I watch a television show I like with my husband and then he watches one he likes while I just vegetable out. This feels safe to me.

Well I have just realized I don't want this kind of laziness to start happening on my blog. This is certainly my space, and I will do with it what I want, but I don't want it to all be fluff. I can think big thoughts too. One of them actually happened to me yesterday.

Sunday yesterday was a great day. I spent the morning with my little family, I spent the next part of the morning planning out some activities for my neighborhood sisters, and I spent the early afternoon in my church building. Then I skipped out on the last meeting to go and hear a return missionary give a brief report of his work in Tampico, Mexico. The reason I was drawn to this meeting was because we grew up next door to his family. They still live in their house, my parents still live in the house next door, and naturally The Bachelor and this return missionary grew up as best friends. We are close to this family. We love them. Their family is our family.

So I attended this meeting and the lofty thoughts started flooding in. The return missionary has a little sister just younger than him. Almost as long as I can remember this little girl has had a rough life, leukemia will do that to you. She is now 18 and the years of fighting this loosing battle have done a number on her body, but not her spirit. She is rail thin, has lost all her hair, but smiles at every opportunity. Her clothes drape her small frame, but her light and presence will fill the room. I watched her as she beamed with pride for her brother, for his hard work and for his strong faith. I was smiling too, albeit sadly, for the strong faith of this girl I know.

I remembered a time when I was called over to babysit some of my favorite kids, those little next door neighbors. After about an hour this little girl asked if I could make French toast. I was maybe 12 at the time, and no, I could not make French toast. I had never learned how. I told her as much and she said that was fine, she knew how and would show me.

She got up from the couch and climbed up on the kitchen counters to collect the ingredients and tools she needed; not once worrying about how tired she felt or the iv port she had nearly all of the time anchored to her hand. I just watched and supervised as best I could while this little person, the one I was supposed to be watching over, took care of everything. Her small hands cracked the eggs, and whisked in the milk. And then I thought to myself, this little girl is so brave. It was a strange thing to think while she was cooking up French toast. I didn't understand why I would think that at the time.

Well, the thought came back to me during that Sunday meeting and I understood things much better. This little girl is still so brave. Her family found out just before her brother's return from Mexico that this illness, this debilitating and wrecking ball of a disease, would end up taking her life, and fairly soon. After years and years of fighting I can't begin to imagine what this news did to her parents, to her siblings. I know what it did to me, it shocked me. I was angry, I was disappointed, I didn't understand. But this girl, this little, strong girl knew better. She wasn't afraid to make French toast when her babysitter couldn't, and she isn't afraid now of the path that lies before her.

Talking to her after the Sunday meeting I saw how kind and loving she was towards her family. How genuinely happy she was to be surrounded by those she loved. She even lit up when I brought little K.B. over to see her. She took his little hand in her little hand and my heart ached for her parents again, for her brothers and sister. She would never have this moment of her own, of being a parent to a needy little baby. She wouldn't be able to get married. She was missing out on all of it. How could it be like this? They are a great family, a wonderful family. They deserve better. She does. She fought so hard for so long. She should have beat this thing!

Well that isn't how she sees it. She is grateful for every painful day she has had as long as it meant more time here on this earth. She does as much as she can in the little time she has here. She is not afraid of what lies ahead, but looks forward with such great faith and understanding. She is still so brave!

I want to be brave like her too. I learned how to make French toast that day long ago because of her, but that is probably the smallest thing I have learned as I watched this struggle happening. There is still so much I do not know about life and living faithfully, but I do know God had a plan for this little girl. Through her He has been able to touch so many lives, mine included. I love her deeply, I see her strength, and I know she will always be the bravest person I know.

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