I don't have a rich attention span in general, far less for orchestrated events like the royal wedding. But as God often does he finds a way to connect and restore your spirit when you least expect it. My daughter taped the entire 4 hour event and was watching this morning as I largely ignored the who's who of the wedding. Until I saw a man give a sermon with such passion I could not turn away. Not by coincidence it was about LOVE. He spoke to the world this morning, and it lifted me up and reminded me how lucky we are to have each other. How lucky we are to have the love and support that we do. How much love Jo always shares, and how much love there is in our home, in our friends and family, and in the lord. Everyone needs to hear his speech, the text is below, the passion behind his delivery is infectious, it was amazing. Maybe you're like me and this wedding isn't "news" but don't miss the message, it was meant for all of us...
Thank you Rev Michael Curry, and thank God for appearing when I least expect it and for reminding me why we are all here and in our personal situation what has gotten us this far, LOVE...
Set me as a seal upon your heart, as a seal upon your arm;
for love is strong as death, passion fierce as the grave.
Its flashes are flashes of fire,
a raging flame.
Many waters cannot quench love, neither can floods drown it.
The late Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, and I quote:
“We must discover the power of love,
the redemptive power of love.
And when we discover that, we will be able to make of this old world
a new world.
Love is the only way.”
There’s power in love. Do not underestimate it. Don’t even over-sentimentalize it.
There’s power in love. If you don’t believe me, think about a time when you first fell in love. The whole world seemed to center around you and your beloved.
Oh, there’s power, there’s power in love.
Not just in its romantic forms, but any form, any shape of love. There’s a certain sense in which when you are loved and you know it, when someone cares for you and you know it, when you love and you show it, it actually feels right. There’s something right about it.
And there’s a reason for it. The reason has to do with the source.
We were made by a power of love. Our lives were and are meant to be lived in that love. That is why we are here.
Ultimately the source of love is God himself. The source of all of our lives.
An old medieval poem says it:
“Where true love is found, God himself is there.”
The Bible, 1 John 4 says it this way. “Beloved, let us love one another, because love is from God; Everyone who loves is born of God
Whoever does not love does not know God For God is love.” (1John 4:4-8)
There’s power in love.
Love can help and heal when nothing else can.
Love can lift up and liberate for living when nothing else will.
There’s power in love to show us the way to live. Set me as a seal on your heart, for love is as strong as death.
And the love that brings two people together is the same love that can bind them together, Whether on mountaintops of happiness
and through valleys of hardship.
Love is strong as death
It’s flashes are flashes of fire. Many waters cannot quench love
Love can see you through! There’s power in love.
But the love of which we speak is not only for couples getting married or just for interpersonal relationships.
Jesus of Nazareth taught us that the way of love is
the way to a real relationship with the God who created all of us,
and the way to true relationship with each other as children of that one God, as brothers and sisters in God’s human family.
One scholar said it this way:
“Jesus had founded the most revolutionary movement in human history: a movement built on the unconditional love of God for the world and the mandate to live that love.” (Charles Marsh’s The Beloved Community)
I’m talking about power. Real power — power to change the world.
If you don’t believe me, well, there were some old slaves in America’s antebellum South who explained the dynamic power of love and why it has the power to transform.
They explained it this way — they sang a spiritual, even in the midst of their captivity, it’s one that says:
“There is a balm in Gilead
To make the wounded whole
There is a balm in Gilead to heal the sin sick soul.
If you cannot preach like Peter, And you cannot pray like Paul, You can tell the love of Jesus, How he died to save us all.
That’s the balm in Gilead.”
This way of love is the way of life.
They got it — he died to save us all.
He didn’t die for anything he could get out of it.
Jesus did not get an honorary doctorate out of it.
He wasn’t getting anything out of it --
He did it for others, for the other, for the good and well being of others. That’s what love is
Love is not selfish and self-centered.
Love can be sacrificial.
And in so doing, becomes redemptive.
And that way of unselfish, sacrificial, redemptive love can change lives
and it can change this world.
If you don’t believe me, just stop and think and imagine a world where love is the way.
Imagine our homes and families when this way of love is the way. Imagine our neighborhoods and communities when love is the way. Imagine our governments and nations when love is the way. Imagine business and commerce when this love is the way. Imagine this third old world when love is the way.
No child would go to bed hungry in such a world as that. When love is the way, we will let justice roll down like a might stream and righteousness like an ever-flowing book.
When love is the way, poverty will become history. When love is the way, the earth will be a sanctuary. When love is the way, we will lay down our swords and shields down by the riverside to study war no more.
When love is the way, there’s plenty good room — plenty good room — for all of God’s children. When love is the way, we actually treat each other like we are actually family. When love is the way, we know that God is the source of us all. We are brothers and sisters, children of God.
Brothers and sisters: that’s a new heaven, a new earth, a new world, a new human family.
Let me tell you something: Old Solomon was right in the Old Testament — that’s fire.
And with this, I will sit down: we got to get you all married.
The late French Jesuit, Pierre Teilhard de Chardin, was at once a scientist, a Roman Catholic priest, a theologian, a true mystic. His was one of the great minds and spirits of the 20th century.
He suggested that the discovery and harnessing of fire
was one of the great scientific and technological discoveries of human history.
Fire, to a great extent, made human civilization possible. Fire made it possible to cook food, thereby reducing the spread of disease. Fire made it possible to stay warm in cold climates, thereby marking human migration around the world a possibility.
Fire made the Bronze Age, the Iron Age, the Industrial Revolution possible. The advances of science and technology are greatly dependent on the human capacity to take fire and use it for human good.
Anybody get here in a car today? Nod your heads if you did. I know there were some carriages.
If you drove here this morning, you did so in part because of harnessed fire. I know that the Bible says I believe that Jesus walked on water, but I have to tell you, I didn’t walk across the Atlantic Ocean to get here.
Controlled fire in that plane got me here.
Fire makes it possible for us to text, tweet, email, Instagram and Facebook and socially be dysfunctional with each other. Fire makes all of that possible.
de Chardin said that fire is one of the greatest discoveries in all of human histories.
He then went on to say that if humanity ever harnesses the energy of fire again, if humanity ever captures the energy of love,
then for the second time in the history of the world,
we will have discovered fire.
Love is the very fire and energy of real life! Dr. King was right:
We must discover love.
The redemptive power of love.
When we do that, we will make of this old world a new world.
“My brother, my sister,
God love you, God bless you.
My brothers, my sisters,
God love you, God bless you.
And may God hold us all
In those almighty hands of love. Amen.”
Summer seems to have officially started in Washington but we all know we can count on nothing until July 4th or later. It is still nice to have such beautiful weather, always bitter sweet when you see how much jo wants to be back to himself, it can be heartbreaking. He seems vividly aware of what is going on outside, he can hear perfectly and the sounds of kids having fun clearly impacts his mood.
He is still receiving steady, regular, and consistent therapy 3-4 hours a day. Up in his chair, up in his stander, lying face down, sitting up straight, and even holding his posture on his own! It is exhausting work for Jo, he slowly getting back to where he was post pump surgery, and his casts will be removed in two weeks from his orthopedic surgery. He is doing very well all around.
The family is fairing well, Jimmy is behaving, and the girls are anxious to start their summer. We are talking with an amazing realtor about trying to find a single level home ASAP. We are also looking at building a ramp to the second floor or even elevator options. We cannot continue the way we are with one true living space upstairs (kitchen , dining room) and Jo downstairs. He has not been upstairs since the injury and we simply can't operate as a segregated house, Jo needs people close for company more than care, and we need him near us.
Those of you who follow the post might have noticed the FUNDRAISER added to the post. I shared the on facebook as well.
Text from facebook post:
So here is where we are, just over a year since the day that would forever change our lives. Most of you know the story, know the intimate details of Jo's recovery thus far, check the archives at www.jowitz.com. The ups and downs, the amazing fighter he still is, the miracle before us. We have to have him closer, the idea of a home without Jo surrounded by his family, or us in his presence is a pain we can't expect to endure for much longer.
He is with us, healing each day, stronger than we ever imagined and now we need him close, accessible all day. He has not been upstairs in our split level home since the day of the accident. The last day he sat at our dinner table was just hours before he was airlifted to children's hospital for life-saving surgery. It doesn't work, we have to be close, Jo may be close to controlling his own wheelchair and needs to be able to access all of us. We love our home and would never imagine moving but it is where we are, maybe for the next 5 years, perhaps the rest of our lives we need access. We need each other close to lift our spirits and let us all heal, it is our reality.
Take the time to get to know Jo and our journey. You'll understand why we need to change our home to one level for everyone.
Most have already given so much I am only asking that you share Jo's story far, wide, and often. Make sure everyone you know hears about Jo, where's a helmet, and thinks about Jo. Think of our family. I've learned that I am surrounded by an amazing community of people who care so much for us that I could never ask for more. They are the reason we've survived this long.
Keep us in your thoughts and prayers and thank you for all that you've done, we feel your love each and every day. Jo's got this, and we couldn't be more grateful!
We are reaching out to each of you not to do more but to share Jo's story, this blog, and his fundraiser far and wide. Forward it to any one you know, encourage them to read about Jo's journey. Get to know us and our family's journey in faith in hope. Perhaps someone has the means to help us get into a different home, perhaps not, it doesn't matter really. We feel so loved and blesses everyday, we could never ask for more. Pray if you do, think of us often if not, but always know we are moving forward! Jo is coming back in full, it wont be fast, it wont be easy, but we know it to be true. Tell everyone you know to where a helmet! Share on facebook, twitter, instagram, or whatever social media you use. Get his story out there for perspective on life, the joy of faith, and the power of God's healing. Be positive! Whether we reach our goal, or never receive another dollar we will find a way.
Jo's dextirity is returning fast thanks to his therapy. A motorized chair may not be far away. Insurance continues to deny far more than they approve and we will not be deterred. We've been told getting approval for the chair is always a challenge. Jo needs to regain some personal freedom! We need a place he can move unencumbered, we need a one level home, either now, or in the next year, it is our reality. We will save til we get what we need.
So share, share, share, everywhere.
Jojobinks you are a warrior and your warrior followers are on the march. We will get this fixed! You are doing amazing! We love you to the moon and back sweet angel!