Sunday, April 1, 2012
We had awakened at 5:00 (me) and 5:30 (Steve, to coincide with the caregiver's arrival) so we could attend 7:45 a.m. service. The Lord reminded me that this was the first Sunday of the month and that communion would be served, so we prayed on the way for "no spills or any problems" during the passing and partaking of the elements. When you have a spouse with badly shaking hands, communion service makes you very nervous! But the Holy Spirit continually gives me verses of reassurance, that I need to be at church, and so does Steve! Psalm 26: 6b-8 says of the believer,
So I will go about Your altar,
That I may proclaim with the
voice of thanksgiving,
And tell of all Your wondrous works.
LORD, I have loved the habitation of your house,
And the place where Your glory dwells.
Because Steve was well rested, had had his breakfast and ingested his medications and supplements, his gait at church was decently normal, and his head was not as bent down as usual. "Glory!" I thought, "this will be a good day for Steve!" After hugging two Joy Splasher friends Kay and Wendy at the door and giving Wendy a lip gloss I owed her, we waited in the foyer for the worship leader's opening prayer to end, and took our seats.
First service is very lightly attended, but it's a blessing to see friends I miss because we attend 9:45 each week. Steve had his usual confusion and difficulty sitting down, but did participate in the singing. Once the sermon commenced, however, his head went down, his mind wandered completely off, and though he wasn't leaning, I had quite a job to keep waking him, especially getting ready for communion.
Between the usher and the man sitting on the other side of Steve, we handled the crackers and cups well, despite Steve not knowing what to do with either. All went well, service ended, and we went on our way, not without mishaps and minor slowdowns, on an absolutely stunning day. We rocked out to Mercy Me's "Almost There" album on the way. Steve and I grabbed Starbucks frappucinos and brunch items at the spectacular Vons in the ocean front area of Long Beach--with its own parking structure no less-- and arrived at Kriss and Marisela's place.
I was so excited to see our little Clark! By the evening of the first full day of his entrance into society, when Auntie Heidi saw him, he had changed appearance since I'd seen him at lunch time; by the third day, he had developed a cleft in his chin, as reported to us last night by Auntie Heather! And today, Clark's handsome cleft chin was full on. The four of us ate our brunch, visited and took pictures. Gorgeous Penny Lane, Cavalier King Charles Cocker Spaniel and former Center of Attention, was cooling her heels in her crate. Kriss said, "She'll love Clark when he gets bigger and can play with her. But meanwhile she needs discipline..." As a dog lover, I agree on both counts!!
The most wonderful part of our visit for Steve came soon after our arrival, consigning eating accidents on floor and clothes into the back of our minds. Kriss brought his dad over to Clark's infant seat. Steve's hunched silence was broken as he spoke out this exclamation: "AWESOME!" On that word, Kriss battled back tears, and hope was re-awakened for us!
In a situation that is fraught with both grief and illness, I thought with love of my Savior, whom Isaiah 53:3b describes as
A Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.
Verse 5 goes on to tell believers words that are often quoted as the communion cup is served,
But He was wounded for our
He was bruised for our
The chastisement for our peace
was upon Him,
And by His stripes we are
May it be so for my husband, Lord Jesus, may it be so!