Sunday, May 02, 2004


Amy led singing in church today. She's been able to do that for some time, but it's been very stressful and emotional for her in recent months. At times she's been shaky, and some weeks she's had to miss simply due to her weakened state of being. For whatever reason, it's suddenly become somewhat frightening for her.

Today Amy's voice was strong and I think her presence helped reinforce God's presence in our little house of worship.

Our friend Rhonda came to church today too.

It surprised me. Rhonda has had a lot of struggles in her life, and like many of us she has sought answers in a variety of ways, not all of them especially healthy or helpful. Amy has tried to get Rhonda to come to church for a long long time.

Since Amy's last surgery in January, Rhonda has been a steadying force which I must admit I wasn't expecting. In the past, we've often been the ones holding Rhonda's hand, but lately it's the other way around.

We have many friends and family who have cared for us, prayed for us, cried with us. I don't mean at all to minimize their invaluable contributions to Amy's recovery. However Rhonda has been that rare friend who has simply been there for Amy with no expectations whatsoever.

She'll call to say, "Hey let's go get coffee" but not be disappointed, or read something more into it, if Amy begs off.

She's volunteered to take Amy to doctor's appointments which sometimes can drag on for hours, and she's also been willing to simply come and sit on the couch, watch TV with Amy, and quietly pass the time.

Sometimes that's what Amy has needed advice, no questions, no sympathy, only a calm presence reminding her she's not alone.

I'll readily admit it's something I've needed too.

It was a huge step for Rhonda to come to church today. Like too many people, Rhonda has had bad church experiences. Today won't heal those wounds, but perhaps it will be the start of a process toward that end.

Rhonda was nervous and felt out of place, but she was there. She walked in the door alone.

I think she did it because she knows that she hasn't given God enough of a chance in her own life , but I know she also did it because she wants to support Amy in every way possible...even when that means doing things that make her highly uncomfortable.

Walking into a church alone when you haven't been a church-goer is a very brave thing for anyone, no matter the reason.

I think Amy has the voice of an angel when she sings. Today I listened to that angelic voice with another angel sitting beside me.

It was good.