I never intended to stop updating the blog for Eastertide. Normally, I post each Sunday and once a week with the photos you send me showing the ways you're practicing resurrection right where you live. We kind of slumped into the season this year - which is completely antithetical to our intention. After a beautiful celebration with our church family, we both fell under the weather. Brian's suffered a horrible sinus infection and thrown out his back, and I've been fighting off some besetting ailments.
And then we received heart-breaking news from Austin about an accident that nearly claimed the life of our friend Christine Warner. For days we refreshed our messages constantly hoping for the news to get better. I spent several days stomping around my house shouting at God to fix this right now! Of course I have only the authority He's given me to make such audacious requests, but I knew our prayers were like paper boats we launched into a global stream of intercession flowing like a river to our God.
In the back of my mind - and in the nighttime when I couldn't sleep - I argued with God that this was no way to illustrate resurrection. He's persisted to tell me otherwise. Not only has Christine remained alive, although severely injured, but even if she had not - even if she does not - the act of protesting death in prayer has only served to increase the ferocity of our hope for resurrection. It's also reminded us of the glory of ordinary, walking-around, being together here-and-now lives.
In this world we are always surrounded by death even when we don't know the name of the victim, and can't tell you her favorite brand of chocolate and the color of her tea cozy. We are always, at all times joining in the protest against death every time we set our eyes toward Jesus, the risen Lord who is right this moment sitting in his resurrected body next to the Father interceding for us living amongst all this death. When we worship Him, name Him, shout to Him our anguish we are reminding ourselves and each other that DEATH IS DEAD and our ultimate reality is life, life, and more life.
Today, I happen to know by name a woman in critical condition in Austin, TX. She has beautiful red hair, laughing brown eyes, and the most brilliant way of speaking life into every one she meets. She loves Toblerone and Diet Dr. Pepper, her husband and her four children. She loves her church as well as the poorest of the poor. She loves Jesus. She is protesting death with each painful breath she takes, and we join her in our fierce hope in power of the risen Christ.
Here's some information if you'd like to pray with us: Pray for Christine - Christ Church of Austin
Here is an astonishing image our friend Meena created in response to the Austin community's grief and prayer for Christine.
Our family's been praying from Psalm 33:18-22 this week:
"Behold, the eye of the Lord is upon those who fear him, on those who wait upon his love. To pluck their lives from death and keep her alive in turmoil.
Our soul waits for the LORD; He is our shield and our help. For our heart is glad in him, because we trust in his holy name. Let your steadfast love be upon the Warner family, as we put our trust in you."
Here is a way you can give to the Warner family:
We offer up this prayer for Christine now, entrusting her to the Lord’s care:
You designed our bodies, O Lord, with a wondrous capacity for regeneration and healing. You give wisdom and knowledge and skill to those who by long training in their professions learn to diagnose and treat ailments of the body. And you, by your Spirit, sometimes effect miracles of healing that even the most skilled of practitioners cannot duplicate. Heal Christine, we pray, in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit. Amen.