Ken observes as his wife sits motionless in the kitchen. He knows her patterns and habits, perhaps better than she knows herself, and senses her somber mood. Ken patiently leaves her to be, mindful that soon he will be called upon. A warm and adoring embrace will give Chris the human touch of compassion she needs, but that will come only when she is ready.
The kitchen has always been her sanctuary, the cornerstone of their home. Critical and trivial moments all have been shared around the reassuring middle island. Chris sits on the leather stool at the counter needing a few moments of silence to just be still. Waiting rooms & doctors, labs and blood tests, drugs and needles have set Chris on a course of despair. A downward spiral has begun, with the depths of despair seemingly never ceasing.
Chris lifts her arm high as her fingers tightly curl, forming an angry fist. With eyes closed, she speaks out loud a simple prayer, Why? … I thought you had more for me to do? She knows God is listening. She never doubts His presence in her life or His authority over her existence. But today, Chris is broken and beaten.
Ken’s strong shoulders come to rescue and carry his wife through this storm. Her prayer and question cutting through him. He whispers encouragement; God isn’t finished with you yet! And through cleansing tears, they regain some strength. Both long to gain human understanding as to the meaning of suffering; both understanding that they will never have an answer.
A letter arrived a few days later, informing Chris of approval to begin a medical treatment in her home. Casting her net out – she chose a few members of her inner circle to keep her company. Chris explained to all that her week would involve 5-days of IV infusions. The promise of this new medicine did little to ease her anxiety.
Comfort and love poured in from those she had sought out. The nurse displayed kindness and Chris shared meals and meaningful conversation with friends. A warm tray of lasagna had been delivered, and in the mornings there was nothing quite like the contemplation and reflection that accompanied her sweet tea. Her bliss being interrupted by the concerned check in calls from friends and family alike. Chris’s kitchen counter became the place where science, technology, and faith sharing intersected. The combination seemed to heal the weariness of her soul.
Thursday morning brought Kara for a scheduled visit. Prior to arriving Kara asked God for words to offer Chris. Make me a vessel of your Peace. And as only God could do, it appeared on Kara’s daily devotional message. She could hardly contain her joy – for she knew it would be meaningful for Chris. In the final moments of that visit, Kara spoke words that released the curl of an angry fist and replaced it with arms lifted high and open hands ready to receive God’s answer to her cry.
Remind her… she is loved.
Remind her… how much you respect her.
Remind her… that she is a woman who has so much to offer.