Tuesday, August 31, 2010

An Empty Beggar's Bowl

I'm sitting here looking at an empty bowl on my table. I put it there
to remind me that I'm a beggar. I am nothing except for the grace of Christ. As a monk takes his bowl into the community and receives from gracious hands his portion for the day, I hold my bowl heavenward to receive from the Lord my portion for the day. And usually, it is enough.

Not today. There are too many people hurting, dealing with grief, struggling to hear hope, dying senseless deaths, sitting by hospital beds watching their young child barely breathing. Doctors' reports are grim. My heart feels heavy. So tonight, as I intercede for several friends in need, I find myself begging God for more. To say more. To do more. To heal more.

Josh Hunter's five year old daughter Ava lies speechless and barely breathing in a hospital bed in Orlando. In late June, doctors removed from her brain a tangerine sized tumor. He writes nearly daily to keep things sorted out and to update the thousands of visitors who now frequent his blog. Thousands.

What draws us? I don't know Josh personally, though I do know his parents, and we have mutual friends. But many who leave notes and pray for this family have no association but to be a part of the "holy catholic church."

I can only conclude that, if you're like me, we long to see God. To be present as He reveals Himself to and through a little girl just like ours. A dad just like us. A wife. A family. A community. We wait for the miracle that will astound the world. And marvel at the everyday miracle of those barely-there breaths. We grimace at the uncertainty of life, but we can't. take. our. eyes. off of Ava.

She helps us see that maybe God isn't as far away as He sometimes seems. And she reminds us that we don't need God to do more. We need to see Him more in what He is already doing.

In Ava's weakened state, the glory of God sits very near. I see Him. In the vulnerable words of her father, the tired shoulders of her mother held in the loving arms of a friend. In a family hurting together, walking beside each other on good days and bad. In a community praying, supporting, serving, even holding vigil for healing. Hope lights the darkened hallways of that hospital.

Life flows in and among and around and through this little girl and her family. A family who reaches heavenward, bowls in hand, to receive from the Lord His portion for the day. And trusts His grace to be enough.

Then Jesus declared, "I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty." John 6:35

If you'd like to read more about Ava or pray with her family, visit her dad, the Daily Philosopher, at his blog.

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