Gratitude: “My Fridge Overfloweth”

From James:

I had hoped So Young would post for the first time tonight, but she is exhausted and has fallen asleep. She’ll have to fill us in when she feels up to it. Her eyesight seems to be getting worse, but otherwise her health is excellent. Her loss of eyesight is almost imperceptibly gradual. That doesn’t mean anything is growing. It just means her body reached a “tipping point” recently. She hasn’t had her morning headache in two days, since a couple of ladies at church prayed for her. We believe that the tumor is shrinking.

Meanwhile, I feel like presenting an extremely large thank-you card to everyone who has helped, offered to help, or just prayed quietly for a moment without us knowing. The list is long, and I already know I have forgotten a few. And it has only been just over a week.

There’s my mom, who has devoted herself practically fulltime to assisting with So Young and the girls and basically running the house while I’m gone.

There’s Dad, who has his crosshairs set on knocking out a couple of pressing home repair projects around here, including overhead lights that will enable So Young to see better. Who can stop Col. Gage?

There are so many people bringing us meals. We  literally have not prepared a meal (apart from utilizing the microwave) since last Thursday, November 11. So Young and the kids are blessed that they don’t have to rely on my cooking skills alone (chili, spaghetti, chili, spaghetti). The first family to bring us a meal drove something like 50+ miles roundtrip to do it.

Many, many people are praying for So Young and our family: our families; our church, including the Dads’ and Moms’ Small Groups (which we lead and co-lead, respectively); our friends, new and old; our coworkers; relatives’ churches in Florida and elsewhere; So Young’s MCM running group; 37 nuns in Chicago (no joke); a church in Indonesia; teachers at the kids’ school. So many prayers lifted up.

Two older Korean ladies prayed for So Young at church on Sunday in her “mother tongue,” as So Young called it. It was a seemingly random meeting (the women weren’t supposed to be there) that is now a milestone in So Young’s life. I hope she’ll write about that later.

Our neighbor Laurie… I wrote her a thank-you card a couple of days ago, but I want to write a few more. She made us meals and brought us flowers. She took care of Shannon when it was really hard. She (and Karen) fixed up our yard. On and on. I told her daughter, “Your mom is a very special lady.” I hope she realizes that.

Innumerable friends have come to keep So Young company or have called. Some took phone calls from So Young early on that most counselors would have a hard time handling. We have someone here almost every weekday. When you can’t see and there’s this vague sense that your life is in danger, friends mean a lot.

Hayong is doing so much for us behind the scenes, including organizing the meals and visits at She and Rose gave So Young a “makeover” of sorts last week as well.

Amanda and Ashton sang a song for So Young on Sunday. That was unspeakably kind. Thank you, Lucia, for setting it up.

I see now why I have developed so many close friendships over the past few years… Kenji, Lawrence, KT. You guys understand that right now I have to be more about action than talk, yet you are like a rock for me and are there when I need you.

The above list is incomplete and wholly inadequate to express what I want to say.

The thing is, people aren’t doing these things to be nice or because it is the “right thing to do” — not out of obligation or duty of any kind. They are doing it out of love. And I’m not being grateful to be nice, either. It comes from the heart.

It’s like how Jesus loves us and how we love him back. He reaches out when we are afflicted and helpless, stuck in frightening circumstances. We see his gracious hand and reach out as well, full of gratitude. I think I get some sense now of how organic that is supposed to be, how naturally it ought to come to those who believe.

So in lieu of a card, thank you, dear friends.

And thank you, Jesus, for giving us all these people to be your hands.


2 Responses

  1. James,

    Thanks for taking the time to post updates…have been praying for So Young, you and your family from halfway around the world – now you’ve got the Middle East covered as well!


  2. Hi, Victor. Thanks for your prayers from across the globe. I pray that God will keep you safe and bring you back home soon. It’s good to know that someone with your heart and integrity is serving our country. Thank you!!! We miss you. — So Young

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