Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Hopelessly Nostalgic

I have been accused of being a “doomer”.  I analyze what is happening in the Mideast, in the church, in the global economy, in the hearts and minds of people and come to the conclusion that insanity has gripped everyone and everything.  Being an engineer I am pragmatic and have come to the only logical conclusion…“NOW IS THE PERFECT TIME TO PANIC!”

Having laid this brief foundation about myself I will share something else very personal; I am hopelessly nostalgic.  For some reason I long for the days of old.  I am convinced, without any facts of course, that things must have been better “back then” than they are today.  Theologically I understand that “there is nothing new under the sun” (Ecclesiastes 1:9), but don’t confuse me with the facts.  I like to imagine men and women involved in the most honorable of deeds.  I picture men laying down there lives for their wives and family and women who sacrifice their careers and even their lives in the support of their husbands and the good of their children.  In other words, people who are willing to lose their own lives in order to allow another to gain life.  True nobility.  This was the spirit of Christ and what I long to see lived out in flesh and blood.

Philippians 2

1 Therefore if you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any common sharing in the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, 2 then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and of one mind. 3 Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit. Rather, in humility value others above yourselves, 4 not looking to your own interests but each of you to the interests of the others.
5 In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus:  6 Who, being in very nature[a] God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; 7 rather, he made himself nothing by taking the very nature[b] of a servant, being made in human likeness. 8 And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death— even death on a cross!

I love it.  Consider this:

  • Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit
  • Value others above yourself
  • Do not look to your own interests but the interest of others
  • Be a servant though you might deserve more
  • Humble yourself to the point of death for the good of another

Until this process of finding a kidney transplant for Nicole began I believed it was rare, if not impossible, to see this lived out in modern society.  There are no more damsels in distress trapped in castles to rescue from a dangerous dragon or evil lord.  As knowledge has increased (Daniel 12:3-4) we have invented ways to run to and fro across this planet (and space) without ever stopping to stare someone in the eye.  We text, fax, email, social network, and blog and the human side of this life has all but ceased.  We live out the opposite of the 5 points listed above as we each seek our own things in our own way.  Families are falling apart at an uncontrolled pace and people are not even willing to sacrifice for their spouse and children, let alone someone else.  Ok, ok….you get the point.  I am beginning to doom here and the doom-o-meter is beginning to peg into the red.

The days of people doing the most honorable of deeds has not died.  The word of Nicole’s need for a donor kidney has spread and with it the Christ-like goodness within people has risen to the surface.  It has broken the deafening silence like the first strike of thunder in early spring.  What I believed wasn’t possible in our heartless world is being lived out right in front of me and all around.  The number of you that have stepped up to be a potential donor for Nicole is astounding to me.  In my first blog, From Deliverance to Hardship to Glory, I stated there were 12.  Well that number has swollen to something like 16 or 18 by now.  To be honest, I have lost track (Titia keeps track of these things).  Consider this; two of Nathan’s schoolmates and soccer teammates at Mansfield Christian School have volunteered to donate a kidney.  These young men have not even graduated high-school and yet they are willing to give of themselves for a little girl they barely know.  It is staggering and humbling to think about.  Or what about the two people that have volunteered that we don’t even know.  That’s right, two people have volunteered that have never met us or Nicole.  One of them is a teacher at Mansfield Christian and the other a friend of my sister in Florida.  Then there is my brother-in-law, Titia’s nieces, and other friends and acquaintances too numerous to mention.  I would be remiss in not specifically mentioning the young lady who heard about the need and told Titia right in Walmart that she would be willing to donate her kidney.  Titia, not understanding the depth of the offer, tried to minimize the statements and it was met with a determined resistance…”No, I will give my kidney”.  Tears flowed.

This has made me reconsider my fellow man and reflect upon myself and my actions.  Maybe the Spirit of God is living and breathing within the hearts of us, the Lord’s creation, after all.  Maybe there just needs to be a real reason to sacrifice.  Maybe our prosperity here in America has taken us so far that real needs are just few and far between.  But here we are with a real need and in come the knights, on their noble steeds, to rescue our little damsel in distress.

Thank you, Thank you, Thank you to all of you who have volunteered to donate part of who you are for Nicole.  Whether or not your kidney is the perfect match or not is not really the point.  Your willingness to serve our family is affecting all of us in such profound ways.  And to all of you that are watching this process unfold and are serving as prayer warriors along side us, thank you so, so much.  We are overwhelmed with your love and support.  The days of truly honorable deeds has not died.

As I have been challenged through this process maybe you will be challenged as well.  What opportunities lay before you right now to serve someone else?  How can you put someone else first and lay down your own wants and desires?  Maybe it is your family that needs your love, commitment, and devotion.  Maybe it is a friend.  Maybe it is a stranger in need.  I don’t know your circumstances but I do know one thing; if you seek to save your own life you will lose it.  This is for certain.  But if you lose your life, you might just find it! (Luke 17:33)

For His Glory,

P.S.  I am happy to report that Nicole’s energy has picked up noticeably since last week’s injection of Aranesp® without any side-effects!

1 comment:

  1. You know, I think we see so much good come out of people when there is a crisis. We all tend to get caught up in our daily lives and then forget about our "neighbor". We are consumed with busyness and allow life to get in the way of what God has truly made us for ~ helping each other, serving each other, loving each other. I'm glad to see it played out in front of my eyes as we walk with you and Titia down this road :)