It is day five of my time in Denver…we have been battling alongside of my dad who is attempting to get the best of a syndrome called, "acute medical-resistant depression." I spent significant time at the hospital with him today…he has been in the hospital for over three weeks. In his own words, "no, I don't feel any better"…"no, I am not hungry"…"no, I don't know if I am NOT trying to starve myself to death." Those are the types of phrases that I am hearing when I hear words at all. It is hard to have hope in the face of such desperation. Many of you know that I have had my own battle with depression…a few dear, dear brothers have also done hand to hand combat with that demon as well. In fact, a couple of them are still my heroes for all that I knew they stared down in their journey. Hope is all our family has to rely on…that "conviction of things not seen." I really can't see any way that dad is going to dig himself out of this…the doctors and staff say to him, "you just have to pull yourself up by your own desire to live"…ah, no. That's not hope…that's just a faint trust in the frailty of the human spirit. True hope, you know, is supernatural…it is able to transcend circumstances, situations, even biology to be able to say that:
1 – life is worth living
2 – there is a purpose for me to live for today and tomorrow
3 – I am someone who is loved and chosen for a mission in life that brings along with it a powerful light in the midst of the darkness and confusion of reality
There is something deep inside of me that feels like my father isn't going to be able to get better…I know that he is fearful of death but he has lost all enjoyment of even the simplest things in life. With my own eyes, all I see is giving up, shriveling up, drying up…entering the tunnel of darkness and not emerging. But I know that there is a power, a presence, a person, the Spirit, the God of love, life, light and hope in the room…surrounding his life…and, as that powerful section in the book of Revelation says, "He is knocking". I always laugh at those Honda commercials ("I'm Mr. Opportunity, and I'm knocking")…because opportunity isn't what brings hope…Jesus alone does. Only when you know, trust and find meaning in the source of life does life make sense. So, despite what I sense in my head about the situation my dad is facing, I trust in a God who "ain't finished with His knocking yet." I can't force my dad to open to door…but I can help him listen…I can say, "do you hear that"? So, the saga continues…
Tomorrow will be a medication day…we're watching and waiting and joining many (if not all) of you in your prayer before the Lord…Wednesday is another medical consult and the final decision on whether the more drastic forms of intervention are merited. But trust me friends, all therapeutic interventions aside, the will to live comes from within the heart…nothing can say "live" and "alive" like the Spirit of Jesus…that's what needs to invade my dad's life now…otherwise, he'll be responding to God's knock, as we would say, "face to face".
More to come…my heart and my family's hearts are blessed by your interest, your prayers, your partnership in our pleadings before the Lord. All my love and our love to you…