Every Father Knows & Cares…
It’s been an interesting couple of weeks to be sure. The weather here in NapTown has gone from a pleasant 65 degrees and blue skies to the more seasonal 45 degrees complete with the usual Novemberish ceiling of gray. In one word – oppressive. The skies seem to mimic what’s happening in my own life as well.
After a round of antibiotics to treat a bad sinus infection I found myself ill yet again with a bad cold. I can only presume that due to 6 weeks of being sick my immune system was just too weak to fight it off. So I spent yet another weekend and a couple days off of work feeling like crap and lying in bed with only my thoughts to keep me warm…well, that and a big fluffy blanket.
Our good friends, the Jewett’s, came to visit this past weekend, and as always it was a joy to be with them and have time for conversation and fellowship. We had missed them dearly and as the time for their own pending adventure nears we seem to cherish each time together a little more.
As a surprise bonus we had a visit from our friends, the Wendland’s, on Saturday afternoon. They traveled up from Cincinnati with their children to pick up a family member in the evening, but wanted to spend the day seeing old friends in Indy. Their 6 month old infant, Elias, has recently been diagnosed with Krabbe Leukodystrophy,
a debilitating disorder that is marked by the slow progressive degeneration of the white matter of the brain. To put it in simple terms – it is a very bad and usually fatal disease. This information alone was shocking to receive and thus made the Wendland’s visit all the more poignant. The last time we’d seen them the wife was pregnant with Elias, so this was our first opportunity to see and hold him. He is beautiful and again I wept – both for the little boy and for his parents who are facing a hell that I can’t begin to imagine or comprehend. Lord have mercy. They were both hopeful and had been told that pending a couple of tests there may be treatment available for Elias. This was Saturday.
Today – Thursday, I came back to work only to discover that while I was gone two of my co-workers in our department had been RIF’d, or more accurately told that they were being laid off/fired as of January 31st. Happy Holidays. Our department is going through a “re-structuring” (as the muckity-mucks call it) and while things like this have been expected it is still somehow surprising when it happens. One of the folks RIF’d was actually told, “Well, we’re going to have to let you go because you don’t qualify for your position in the new organization because you don’t have a degree.” Wow. 60 years old, 10 years of loyal service in the same department, and she’s told that she doesn’t qualify for the job she’s been doing for those 10 years. This is corporate BS at its best to be sure. With these things happening I’ve discovered that my own job is in more jeopardy than I originally thought. I was told that “Well, your job is really necessary for now, so don’t worry.” Right. Necessary for now…and now ends…when? I felt like saying, “Yeah, well thanks, but I wasn’t born yesterday.” The almighty dollar and the “paper proof” always trumps the person and demonstrated ability and experience in these situations, so needless to say, I’m aggressively searching for a new job before the axe falls.
Finally, to finish off the day, I called the Wendland’s to check in and the news was grim. The doctors at the children’s hospital have decided that they will not proceed with treatment for Elias as it may result in a very poor quality of life for him and won’t prolong his life much more than expected now. Basically, his leukodystrophy is definitely fatal and he is not expected to survive past the age of 2. Again, I began to weep and pray fervently for him and for his parents and brother and sister. Lord have mercy! Christ have mercy! Lord have mercy! Please remember Elias and the Wendland family in your prayers.
So, mildly put, today has been rough. In the midst of trying to find the words to describe the range of emotions with all that has happened in the fortnight since I’ve posted, I received an email from Bill Mallonee about a free song for download. It was a piece I’d not yet heard from his prior year’s Christmas album. As I sat there listening to it I knew that once again God was breaking through the thick atmosphere of my despair and reminding me of the joy set before us. I found myself silently beginning to tear up yet again as right there in this simple song were the words I’d been searching for and desperately needed to hear. You can listen to the song on the player above (if you haven’t started already), and I’ve listed a few of the song’s lyrics from Bill’s ever astounding poetry. Once again, thanks be to God for Bill and his words.
Sometimes it seems that we are very alone here. I know I’ve said it multiple times in my last few posts, but things do seem rather bleak as of late. So much sadness, despair, and dark. So much that I don’t understand. It’s all overwhelming and the loneliness and wonder of where God is in all of this seems to take hold of me quickly. And yet, even now while writing this post, the sun pokes through the dark canopy of clouds and pours it’s rays of light on my sullen face. Like the song by Bill, the brilliant afternoon sun and countless other drops of dew on a dry heart bring me hope. The whole concept of the Son of God being born in cave is itself a sign to behold. Light Himself comes into a dark and dismal cave and transforms it into life and joy. I couldn’t ask for a better image than that. When the darkness deepens in this cave of a world God Himself breaks in and changes everything. And even when He seems so far away – even for Christ on the cross when it seemed that the Father had abandoned His own Son – even then, still every Father knows and cares where his sons and daughters are.
Today we begin the Nativity Fast and I’m reminded that Christmas is just around the corner. A time of year when the Light seems brighter and mankind less volatile; an event that the hope of all humanity hinges on regardless of race or creed. All is not lost after all…
…our Father knows and cares where His sons and daughters are.
Every Father Knows & Cares (Where His Sons & Daughters Are)
well the angels sang the sweetest song echoing refrains
the shepherds were up to something maybe drunk again
no there probably wasn’t any snow on the ground at the time
though the greeting cards show that sort of thing with a warm and fuzzy rhyme
and the stable is neat and tidy the hygiene is five stars
and the planet it spins lonely as i step out of this bar
now some are lost in shopping malls and some on battlefields
and some are lost in suburbs and some on capitol hills
some are lost on terminal wards or in a nursing home
and some are equally as lost in between their headphones
but whatever your coordinates on your map of shame
rather close or far away we’re all lost just the same
the birth of births was like a death
under that hallowed star
still every father know and cares
where his sons and daughters are
so you may wake up a bit confused with the ache that’s in your heart
doesn’t matter if you got there by choice or got there by default
and every birth shall come with tears and with youth there is a cost
Jesus what’s it like to grow up in the shadow of a cross
where You take on more than You could know more than i’d want to say
i put you there a long time ago when i do it every day
and that Birth of Births was like a death
under that hallowed star
still every father knows and cares
where his sons and daughters are
~Bill Mallonee © 2005
These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.â€ ~John 16:33
“I have come as a light into the world, that whoever believes in Me should not abide in darkness. And if anyone hears My words and does not believe, I do not judge him; for I did not come to judge the world but to save the world.” ~John 12:46-47
“Where can I go from Your Spirit? Or where can I flee from Your presence? If I ascend into heaven, You are there; if I make my bed in hell, behold, You are there. If I rise on the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there Your hand shall lead me, and Your right hand shall hold me. If I say, “Surely the darkness will fall on me,” even the night will be light about me; indeed, the darkness is not dark to You, and the night shines as bright as day!” ~Psalm 139:7-12