She couldn’t have known what a gift it was to see those words slide silently across my screen. “… I saw and my stomach dropped.”
My friend saw and noticed, and sent me four sentences. Forty-six words. All gift.
“And you live with this every day.” Grace poured out.
This friend, the one who’d opened her arms, her home, and her heart to a gaggle of beleaguered kids, had paused in the midst of her crazy, busy life and tried to imagine mine, to wander a few steps along my path.
“Are we doing enough,” she asked, “for you?”
My friend knows what it means to love her neighbor, hundreds of miles and a half dozen states to her north, as she loves herself.
“Is there anything at all we can do to help?”
She didn’t judge or jump in with her own story. Didn’t offer expertise or hard-won wisdom. She simply asked. Opened her great, big, amazing heart and asked. Forty-six words. Love poured out. Grace spilled over in the midst of a journey I can’t begin to understand. Because it’s who she is. A living, breathing, blood-poured-out, Jesus-in-the-flesh mama to seven lost and wounded souls. A woman after God’s own heart.
We’re not walking the same road, my friend and I, but it doesn’t matter.
We matter. And that’s enough.
It’s what we all long for. To matter. To be seen. Heard. Understood. To know that we are not alone.
It’s what my parents want as they journey through a year of treatment for my Dad’s systemic melanoma. It’s what my son wants as he travels the road of serious chronic illness. It’s what my girls want. To be seen. To be known. To matter. It’s what I want as I learn to parent a houseful of teens with significant illness. It’s what my husband wants. My neighbor. My aunt. My friend. Someone to listen. To hear. To see. To know.
It’s what we all want. And it’s just exactly what God promises. To never leave us. Never renounce or repudiate or resign. Never give up, throw over, drift away, walk out, cast off, or desert us.
God is in this forever. Till the very end of time. He loves us with an everlasting love. A love that never quits, never fails, and never, ever ends.
We are noticed. Seen. Loved. And we are His.
We matter. Every single one of us. My friend couldn’t have known what a gift she’d wrapped up in those forty-six words, but they carried the fragrance of eternity. The love of the Father wrapped in the flesh of His child. Grace poured out, spilled over. Abundant. Lavish. The Body of Christ, alive. Love changing the world a single heartbeat at a time.
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Cindee Snider Re
Author and Co-Founder at Chronic Joy Ministry, Inc.
Cindee is a wife of 28 years to the man she loves most in this world, mama of five world-shaking creatives (18-27), author of Discovering Hope, Finding Purpose, Embracing Worth and I Take You in Sickness and in Health, photographer, craver of quiet, lover of cotton, denim, Jesus and tea, and co-founder of Chronic Joy®. Cindee and four of her five kids have Ehlers-Danlos, dysautonomia, intractable migraine, and myriad co-existing conditions, through which they're learning the deeper the valley, the greater their capacity for joy.