When crisis hits a family, just about every area one could possibly ascertain suddenly comes into the light: the strength of your faith/relationship with the Lord, the strength of your marriage, the strength of your family, the quality/strength of the character of the children you’ve raised/are raising, your priorities, the family & friends who truly love you & know how to put that love into action, & the random kindness of people you don’t really even know.

One’s lens of life is forever altered from crisis changing events. They teach one how to pray in faith with thanksgiving for what is, rather than focusing on what isn’t. They offer rare Scriptural lifetime opportunities to literally lay down one’s life for someone else (everything about your own life is put on hold, as well as in our family’s case, you offer to donate an organ) as a priority of time, energy, faith/trust; the many things in life the entire culture continues to focus on/move forward with as priorities while in the midst of your storm, are suddenly falling apart, simply because you had to let them on behalf of the life of someone else, & you hold on to faith/trust that when you’re on the other side of this journey, you’ll somehow be able to pick up the pieces & start over again.

You come to understand that on the other side of this journey, you’ll never forget that there are people all around you every day that need you to be the hands & feet of Jesus in their crises (it remains a crisis until it has been resolved/renewed/restored): clean their house, wash their clothes, cook/prepare freezer meals, buy them a meal, send them a note of encouragement with gas/food money, organize a fundraiser to help out with all of the medical expenses/the numerous other expenses that suddenly overtake you, a phone call with prayer to check on how they’re holding up/what their needs might be, visit in pairs so one can sit quietly with the patient & the other can take the longterm caretaker anywhere but the hospital, plow/shovel/mow, pick up/drop off another child at school/dance, offer a week’s care-taking shift, offer to take care of their other children, post a Holy Spirit led carefully chosen word/prayer of encouragement on Caring Bridge frequently, & the list of helpful, thoughtful, encouraging ‘love in action’ things people can demonstrate on behalf of those walking through a crisis journey. For each of those actions & for the love many of you have demonstrated in action on behalf of our family, we are truly & humbly thankful.

When the crisis lingers on, don’t forget about them – nothing has changed in the natural realm, & if anything, they need you even more present to keep weariness & discouragement from settling in the midst of trying to juggle all of the ‘stuff’ of both the continuing crisis & life. They need you to hold up their arms in the midst of the battle. If the crisis involves a child, it’s difficult when the child doesn’t feel well, but irregardless, they continue to be a child in reasoning, behavior, activity level, etc.. Don’t forget about the parents, because the difficult part of this journey falls on them. The parents are the ones who have to shoulder the reality of the entire ordeal – from the illness that has attacked their child & the faith to receive healing on their behalf, all of the short term/long-term issues involved, to balancing all of the things written in the previous paragraph in the midst of the financial stress, to time lost at the job that maintains the health insurance that is the only thing preventing complete devastation, from having zero time for one’s self because the groceries, the cleaning, the cooking, the schooling, shoveling/mowing, paying the bills, car maintenance, & the endless list of life’s stuff continues to tumble in all around in the midst of the crisis that now determines one’s days/weeks/months schedule…every day until healing manifests in this realm.

This is the reality of crises. This is the reality of who Christ needs us to be on behalf of a hurting & broken world…and we are only one family in the midst of one specific crisis. There are multitudes of crises needing our love in action every hour of every day. This is the lens enlarged, through not only walking in the midst of this journey ourselves, but through observing hundreds of families walking out similar & even tougher crises journeys.

If we are truly in Christ, we all need a new & enlarged lens for this life: one that is free of the ‘stuff,’ the ‘schedules,’ the religious ideologies, self, & simply free to be His love in action…AND free to do it all behind the scenes – nameless, faceless – giving all the glory to the One to Whom it’s due. It’s that simple. It’s that complex. When it’s both, we know the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.