But God . . .

But God

If you like a good cliff hanger, read the Bible.  There you will find numerous stories of people in “cliff hanger” situations of lost hope or of someone or some group finding themselves / their situation or nation under siege.  Every story drives you right to the brink with breathless uncertainty – will they make it?  Then, the cosmos shifts and the tidal wave of disaster is mystically held in abeyance by two deceptively simple words of intervention – But God.

But God is used biblically to show extreme contrast in good vs. evil situations. Those words, I notice as I read through scripture, seem to be invoked for situations deemed most dire.  But God is the rally cry of those who are exhausted by the battle, yet it is the battle cry of emergent and confident hope.  Much like those scenes from old black and white cowboy movies when it looks like the guys in the black hats just might have the upper hand,  we wonder – How could the bad guys get this far in their plans? Then, as the noose is sliding over some good guy’s head, the steady, ominous beat of the background music thunders to a triumphant crescendo. The Cavalry appears on the top of the hill; all five gajillion of them it seems. They aren’t there to dance, folks. They are fully intent on taking out the foe and saving the day.  Inching forward on our seats and gripped with anticipation we watch the scene unfold, intuitively knowing a But God moment is about to come down hard on the bad guys.

  • “The grass withereth and the flower fadeth away BUT the Word of GOD shall stand forever.” Is 40:8
  • “. . . BUT GOD has chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise.” I Cor 1:27
  • “They took him down from the tree and laid him in the sepulcher. BUT GOD raised Him from the dead.” Acts 13:30
  • “For indeed, Epaphroditus , was sick unto death; BUT GOD had mercy on him; and not on him only, but on me also. Phil 2:27

As I sat in the radiology waiting room for four hours this past Monday, not knowing if the test results would set in motion a surgical procedure on Anthony, I felt helpless.  How would I make sure Anthony had everything he needed over the long haul to fight this illness? How was I going to help finance this medical crisis?  How? Why? What?

Then, we got our very own But God moment.  Trudy and a few friends had been texting their support. Anthony’s beloved Samantha was moving between the room that held Anthony and then back to the chair next to me, worried for both of us. Hearing a rustling sound in the hall, we looked up to see Anthony coming toward us, his frail frame draped in two hospital gowns, droopy socks keeping his feet warm. “They said there’s nothing to drain and to go home. The doctor will call me.” We were stunned.  “What does that mean – nothing to drain? There was something there when they did the MRI. There was something there yesterday. There’s nothing there today? How? Why? What?”

Anthony still has Crohn’s, but whatever was seen in the first round of MRIs is now unseen under the under the more precise CT lens of modern medical equipment. The systemic infection he has been battling for the last couple of months miraculously has not caused damage to his internal organs. His blood work is within normal range for a Crohn’s patient. Crisis diverted.

But God . . .


Friends of the Paralytic

One of my favorite Bible stories is found in Mark, Chapter 2.  You know this one – the paralytic (we’ll call him Randy) wants to go see Jesus who happens to be in town that day, but the crowd near where The Lord is, is so huge that Randy fears he won’t make it. The poor guy is confined to his strethcher / bed which is not the best mode of travel under normal circumstances, let alone through a teeming throng of Jesus groupies.  So, his friends agree to get him to Jesus. They not only get him there, but when they  realize the only way to get Randy right under Jesus’ nose is to lower  him, bed and all, down through the roof, they don’t quibble, they just do it.  I  imagine Randy’s response – “You’re gonna do what?!”   Well, do it they did. These oft overlooked friends in the story from long ago, lower Randy down right smack in front of Jesus and the rest as they say, is history. Randy is healed. The friends high five each other on a job well done albeit a bit crazy, but mission accomplished nonetheless.

Sometimes we need our friends to carry us when we are paralyzed by the unknown. Sometimes we need our friends to help get past the teeming obstacles of frear, lack of information, a missed diagnosis or just the daily junk that so easily besets us and hampers our ability to be fully in the presence of Divine Love and healing.  We need help to get to the place where we need to be.   Yes, sometimes, even though we may typically be strong and in control, we need to be carried. We need to trust  we won’t be dropped.

During  this past week some amazing friends have appeared to help lift Anthony’s “stretcher” and to carry him right up to The Lord.  Friends of long standing and friends I have just met – each  stepping forward to offer the very best “medicine” Anthony needs right now; prayer.  Our deepest thanks go to Michiana Christian Community Church, St. Joseph Parish in South Bend, Unity Church of Peace in South Bend, Silent Unity in Kansas City, MO, many, many friends and some of the most stawart prayer warriors I know – the Housekeeping Team at Bethel College.  All have placed Anthony and his medical team on their prayer lists. Each one believing and affirming his healing.

I want to also thank Jeremy and his mom, Trudy; friends in the Crohn’s community that I have yet to meet face to face but we have texted and spoken with. Jeremy has Crohn’s  and is Anthony’s age; he has not hesitated to become Anth’s guide along this journey. Trudy has become a lifeline for me – a text or call away as I sit in the hospital waiting, waiting, waiting. They are angels to Anthony and me.

Everyone mentioned in this post has come along side us, extended their hand, lifted the “stretcher.”  As a mom, I am so very grateful. My lesson today was trust; trust that the bearers would safely deliver Anthony into the presence of The Great Physician.

And so it is when you have the kind of friends Randy had – friends of Biblical proportion.



In the Beginning . . .

When Anthony made his earthly appearance early on a frigid November 1986 morning, he was well over 9 lbs and screaming like a banshee. With that hefty physique and lungs to match, who would have ever guessed he was destined for a battle with Crohn’s Disease, something that would voraciously gnaw his 5’9′ frame to just over 100 lbs and barely holding? Now, 25 years later, like Rocky’s crusty boxing coach, Mickey Goldmill (Burgess Meredith), I move anxiously, deperately, furitively in the corner of the ring as I watch my beloved son bob and weave against his greatest foe. I yell obscenities at his foe. I shout encouraging affirmations to Anthony above the din of his confusion and anger.  I hold the towel to wipe the tears from his face. I feel helpless.

Anthony was diagnosed in the late fall of 2011 but it is only now that we are seeing some action. Part of the delay has been due to doctors not really communicating with each other, part is due to doctors medicating symptoms vs treating the disease and part is because his primary care doctor, who was just beginning to understand his role is coordinating medical efforts at the base level, died a premature death just hours before his appointment with Anthony.  And so another frantic delay as we searched for a new and competent primary care provider.

During the delays I began reading everything I could find. I made contact with Indiana’s Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation in Indianapolis and I began searching for others like Anthony and others like me – frantic parents who wished they could ring the bell that would stop the pain, stop the mountains of medication, stop the fear their child felt – stop the disease.

This is the way it is – In the Beginning . . .



Welcome to the Journey!

Hello and Welcome!  Please bear with me as I figure out how to get this blog up and running. Once I do, you will be able to walk with me and my son, Anthony (25), as we confront his recently diagnosed Crohns Disease. Until then, please keep us in your thoughts and prayers.