I had just come home from an annual pastor's conference. I was tired from the trip and ready for some time with the family and a good night's rest. That is, until a phone call came. It was September 15, 2010. My Dad had called to tell me that my Mother was going to be going to the emergency room. She was showing signs of severe pneumonia that had put her through a near-death experience a couple years earlier. This was going to be a long night. When we got to the ER, we found that her condition was worse than it was the first time. Things were not good.
After two long and difficult weeks, things began to look good. In fact, she was brought out of her "coma" and they were working with her to get her breathing on her own again. We were able to talk with her on September 29th. We left rejoicing that, perhaps, God would work a second miracle with her health. When my wife and sister-in-law were with her that night, she whispered, "No time...go home." We thought she either meant that in no time she would be allowed to go home, or that we should all go home and get rest - she was always thinking of others first.
|Memorial at the Cleveland Zoo with my Mother's name |
thanks to gifts given in her name. The Zoo was one
of her favorite places to go.
Her memorial service was held on Saturday, October 9th at their home church. It was one of the hardest days of my life. The theme of the day from all who talked about my Mom was her love for Jesus and her love for people.
In the coming months, the emotional pain was, at times, more than I could bear. I found myself clinging more desperately to the Lord than I ever had before. As I thought about how well my Mom had lived her life, I found the Lord pressing me to examine myself and evaluate my life. I realized that my life had become very noisy. Ministry, evangelism, theology, and other things had crowded my heart. My focus on Jesus had become blurred. I needed to silence all those "voices" and focus my heart back on the Lord alone.
I believe this season would set me up for a refocusing that God was doing in me.
Read Part 14