I can't thank you enough for all the prayer and love you all have shown my family! Chas is doing well... and is now living at an awesome Rehabilitation Hospital in Surrey... he has made so many strides... but still has a long way to go! We would covet your prayers now more than ever... this is the tedious part... So if God puts us on your heart we would be so appreciative!
Here are a few reflections written by my Dad and my brother, Billy... thought I would share...
First from my brother, Billy...
There is nothing in life that can prepare you for something like this. It is sad on so many different levels. I think of when Jesus cried outside of Lazarus' tomb and the only way I can understand why the God of the universe would shed tears was because it wasn't supposed to be this way. He didn't create us for death. He didn't create a world where little boys had to re-learn how to swallow. So, I know I know I know that when we say Jesus is Emmanuel, God with us, it is not some cheap trinket. He isn't some imaginary friend that if we have a really good imagination, we can make him seem real. Emmanuel is his saying that he stands outside the tomb with us and weeps. Weeps over the way it was supposed to have been. Weeps over the pain we feel because of the way it now is. Weeps over the crushed expectations, the shattered hopes and the groanings of our spirits that can never be satisfied by this world (no matter how much we refuse to learn that). But He is hope. Not the kind of hope that says something good might happen as long as circumstances line up in the right way. Not the kind of hope that is anchored in the strong probability of the possible outcome we desire. Christ does not give us hope, Christ is hope. A hope that is about His promises to us and not our ability to keep our promises to God. A hope that weeps outside the tomb with us. A hope that says this is only for a little while because the end has already been written. A hope that says Chas is still as much Chas as he ever was and there is no ski accident, brain injury, height nor depth that will ever change that. God created a wonder when he created Chas. He is no less a wonder now. Who he is, is sealed by the sprit. Written on the palm of God's hand. And when we say, "God works things for his good", that is not some cheap christian band-aid. It is the cornerstone of all we believe. It means there is nothing God should be doing that he is not. It means that while there is mystery surrounding God, that mystery is not whether or not He is sovereign; it is how, in his sovereignty, he is working something like the brain injury of an eleven year old boy for good. We can't see it. I can't see it. It doesn't stop this from hurting. It's not supposed to. Things like this hurt by definition. But it is His promise of what already is and what is yet to come...that Christ is good and all circumstances, people and creation will reflect that. No exceptions. I don't know any outcomes for Chas or myself...but that promise is our "cleft in the rock" until, one day we are home and can see his face clearly.
This is from my Dad ...
It is 7 weeks today that Chas’ life changed dramatically. His parents can only guess what happened. Could Chas’ skis have crossed in mid air causing him to crash? Might Chas have hit a rock? Or maybe the snow layered ice became the enemy. So many questions but no real explanation for the journey that followed: brain trauma; days of living at lifes edge in a coma; weeks when Chas could not speak or eat or move his right side. Chas’s parents could have asked “Why us?” “ Why fall victim to the pit of suffering?” But eventually they began to live into life’s mystery. “Why not us!” If suffering, like joy, is woven into the fabric of life, why should anyone be an exception? The challenge before Gretchen, Frank, Chas and all of us is: “Once the unexpected happens” How do we address it, name it, and begin to live into the recovery of hope.
I write to all of you at Caringbridge because I believe Frank and Gretchen found strength as they shared a common identity with grieving families. It began in Grenoble, France as they lived in a hostel provided by the Hospital and broke bread with Germans, Italians, Poles and Greeks whose sons, daughters, husbands, wives were critically ill.
In any other circumstance, differences: language, race, culture might remain a divide. But at this Table of Life, there was no division. Frank and Gretchen shared a common identity with other suffering families. They were simply Children of God all journeying from brokenness to wholeness and God had led Gretchen and Frank into a caring fellowship.
Why do I share this reflection? Because none of us wants to suffer but when it happens, God will not only give us strength to meet the days ahead as he has for Gretchen, Frank and Chas but He will also open to each of us a caring fellowship of sojourners who will journey with us.
Finally, I am happy to report that Chas is recovering brilliantly. His journey toward fullness of health continues. If you were to meet Chas today you would see in him strength and hope and his message to you and the world beyond; NO ONE EVER has to remain in the pit. God’s saving help is ever present with us.
HERE IS AN AWESOME SERMON ON HOPE BY LOUIE GIGLIO
*does anyone know how to tell me how to make this (above) a link where you can just click on it? : )