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True Life Chronicles – Part 2

This past week has had many highs and lows for me personally when it comes to this church thing. I’m gonna’ write about one of each, both of which occurred outside of Sunday morning.

The low happened last Wednesday. A few months ago Dan & Gina Sachowski, who are part of True Life, introduced me to a couple they are friends with whose 19-month old daughter was diagnosed with Neuroblastoma cancer back in April. She’s been in the hospital 90% of the time since then under-going chemo treatments, and will be in the hospital for at least another year for 90% of the time. I have talked to the mom and dad, but hadn’t met them face-to-face yet. I went up to Robert Wood on Wednesday to meet the father, Lou, and his little Gwen.

Now I’m not a hospital-visit kind of guy. I don’t normally jump at opportunities to go to hospitals to visit people, especially people I don’t know. But there was something about the conversations I had with this couple, plus the fact that I have a daughter who is little Gwen’s age, that compelled me to want to meet them.

I got there while Gwen was asleep, and I talked with Lou quietly about all the details of the situation. As I listened to him explain how they manage, what they’re dealing with financially, the difficulties of caring for their other two kids, my head started to spin. I tried to imagine going through what they’re going through, but I couldn’t. I couldn’t imagine having my daughter Kayla in the hospital 24/7 hooked up to all these tubes, having to go through 5 rounds of chemo in order to have surgery to remove a tumor in her abdomen. I couldn’t imagine not knowing exactly what the outcome is going to be. I couldn’t imagine barely ever seeing my wife because one of us has to always be at the hospital.

After about an hour, I prayed for them and then said goodbye. And I walked out of there feeling very small. Small because I’ve never known that kind of pain. Small because I couldn’t really offer anything all that helpful. Small because everything else that I needed to get done didn’t seem all that important, anymore. I just felt small in a very sobering, perspective-renewing kind of way. And it was good for me.

I also left wanting to spend more time with Lou. He’s a very likable guy, knows all the nurses names, very friendly, and very honest about how painful it is. Part of me wanted to stay around the hospital a little longer — not because I thought I could help them, but because I was so amazed at how this family is dealing with such pain with such dignity. I hope to spend more time with them.

So as heart-breaking as it was, I’m really glad I went.

Then a few days later I went to the Grand Opening of Decarlo Fitness, owned by Francisco and Michele Escalante (Michele’s maiden name is Decarlo in case you were wondering). And it was awesome to see a dream of theirs finally realized and to get to be there on their special day. And what made it extra awesome was seeing so many True Life people show up to support them, many of whom are new friends of theirs within the last year. True life has formal gatherings on Sunday mornings and during the week in life groups, but our hope from the beginning was that peole would gather and hang out informally during the week in many different ways, supporting each other in the day-to-day things of life. And Saturday was one of the ways that it got to happen — not because a service was being held, but because a couple stepped out in faith and started a business together.

That was really cool.

I’m glad I went there, too.

Rejoice with those who rejoice, weep with those who weep” (Romans 12:15). 
 

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