Eva and I celebrating our birthdays. She made it to 49. She didn’t think she would.
Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have gained access [by faith] to this grace in which we stand, and we boast in hope of the glory of God. Not only that, but we even boast of our afflictions, knowing that affliction produces endurance, and endurance, proven character, and proven character, hope, and hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out into our hearts through the holy Spirit that has been given to us. Romans 5:1-5
I haven’t updated you on Eva in awhile. Truth be told, since my parents moved here and need my help, I haven’t been able to see her as much. Sweet friend that she is, she never complained and told me to take care of my folks.
She has been listed as terminal. She does chemo to prolong her life. She talks about staying alive for her husband Andrew, and her son Michael. She really does amaze me. Her will to live, to endure tremendous suffering, all because of her immense love for her family. She keeps as active as she can. (And sometimes puts me to shame, and I am not sick.) Tonight she was doing homework with her son, just like any of us would do. Ordinary motherhood, with the elephant of sickness in the room.
Here is the thing about Eva, she has endured more than any person I personally know. And yet, when I go over to her house, she has a smile on her face. She asks me about my folks and how they are doing. She gives me birthday gifts. She is suffering more than anyone I know, and yet she asks about me. She listens to me. She sometimes takes my breath away.
She is not perfect. At times, she is brutally honest. I have seen her bile bag, helped her empty it. I have heard her speak about being humiliated because she pooped her pants. Humiliation. Christ on the cross. That is what I see. I suppose it is hard to watch. Her husband posted this the other day, “I don’t think there’s anything worse than watching your loved one howling in pain through the night, despite heavy medication. On top of that, she apologizes for keeping me awake.” But what I see is beauty. I see the rawness of the human condition. I see that no matter how much we think we have control, we really don’t have much. I see a wife her loves her husband and son so much she keeps going. I see a husband who loves his wife so much he can’t barely stand to watch her suffer. I see true love. It’s a self sacrificing love. It’s what this world needs.
God tells me to run toward the suffering. I have told him I will. But I look at Eva, and I see her love, and I feel so small. What she faces, and the attitude she faces it with, it’s amazing. Truly it is. She needs a miracle so please keep praying. Our God is a God of hope and though many run from suffering, or give up, Eva has taught me perseverance, and she’s done it because of love.