Monday, October 11, 2010

Bedside Healing

I've often heard that laughter is like good medicine. I've also heard singing soothes the soul. My uncle Ron is going through the trial of his life. Interesting play on words as his profession is Law. Tomorrow he is going in for massive surgery to remove brain tumors in his head. He only found out a week ago they were in his brain and others throughout his body. We have shed a lot of tears over this diagnosis and of course are very concerned but we are confident that God can take him through this storm, meet him on the other side and turn this trial into joy of healing and restoration.

Tonight was a special family night at the hospital. My uncle Ron even in his current state, managed to make all of us laugh with his great stories. One thing that has always been so important to Ron and LeAnn is music. After all they met on the stage. I remember growing up, riding in the back of their car singing fun music and Ron teaching 3 part harmonies. All my 3 uncles, my dad and aunt were all musical, but Ron really placed that love for songs in my heart as a young girl. When I recorded my CD in 2006, Ron would constantly remind me that he listens to it every day on his way to work, until recently when his car stereo ate it. I was very touched that he would love it so much. That is why I thought how awesome it would be if all of would get together tonight and sing with Ron. What a sweet time of worship and praise we had as we all in beautiful harmony sang to the Creator and the One who can heal and One who brings comfort in times of uncertainty.

When the nurse came I got a flash back of how I once wanted to be a nurse offering bedside help to sick people. I thought because I was a night owl I would be a fun night nurse, only to find out I dry heave at my own child's vomit. It was at that time when I was also being drawn to music and writing the words that were flowing rapidly in my head. A revelation of knowing I wasn't going to comfort through touch and care, but comfort through music. Those worlds collided tonight as I sang with my uncle and family at his bedside, thankful that I trusted God with all my heart that He was telling me to pursue music not nursing. What a sweet time of worship we had, and I'm so thankful I was holding the guitar and not wearing the scrubs.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Joy in the Back Row

Today I witnessed such a touching moment in a plain ordinary volleyball game.  It actually wasn't all that plain, after all this is 7th grade recreation volleyball where you have to be on high alert watching, or you just might get a ball in the face!  It is great fun to watch!

Due to my own coaching responsibilities at the High School, I haven't been able to make it to my daughters game yet, but today it worked out.   Such a difference from gym to gym where my team's goals are different and 3 hits and killing the ball on the third is the priority.  In the 7th grade gym there is pure elation when a serve goes over! Eruption of cheers for a pass and an attempt to get the ball back over, those are all noteworthy triumphant moments whether a point is scored or not.
In the high school game we no longer call our 3 hits a "bump, set, spike", rather it is called a "pass, set, hit" with spike being semi acceptable and understood,  but "BUMP" term is never used, and I figured why today.  When I was in 7th grade we would yell out "BUMP, SET, SPIKE" each time we'd receive a serve and usually just get past the "BUMP" in the cheer and then it was a dead ball.  Well let me tell you..the "bump" is still alive and well over in today's 7th grade gym.  A "bump" is a perfect word for this "skill" because most the time, with a running start, the player launches that first serve receive "pass" right back over the net or with severe fierce and arm movement, the "bump" nails the ceiling so hard everyone is ducking for cover below, I'm sure you have witnessed this yourself.  Even the crowd is sitting on the side lines with hands up ready to deflect the forceful "bump", daring to take their eyes off the court for fear of a flying volleyball smashing the new nose job.  Sooner or later the understanding of 3 hits sinks in, and hopefully by the time High School comes around, the crowd can safely watch a volleyball game with a drink and popcorn in hand.
Which brings me to the joy in the back row that I witnessed today at the 7th grade match.  Substitution for the back row serving position enters a tall mentally challenged girl.   She was just happy to hold the ball and be on the court.  Not sure if she could really see what she was doing, only making small gleeful noises, but I could tell from the faces on her teammates and the coach, this was a special moment for all.  She waited for the whistle to blow, was standing in the middle of the court about 5 steps up from the normal serving line, the whistle tweeted and amazingly she hit the ball in a sweet spot in order for it to trickle over to the other side (cheers from the crowd), where a girl's attempt to "bump" made the ball fly out of bounds.  How elated the team was for this sweet challenged volleyball player who scored a point for the team.  Actually, the whole gym was cheering regardless of what side they were cheering for prior to this grand substitution.  Game point, she has the chance to win the game, (which I quickly thought of all those movies and news reals showing the special needs child launching ten 3 pointers in a row with the crowd going nuts) "tweet" of the whistle, and then the crowd in a chorus "ohhhhh...." as they watch the ball hit her hand funny and go no where.  Oh how we all wanted that amazing ending, but it still was a winning moment as we watch her teammates rally around her.  Time out called and a substitution out, her teammates came around her, high fives and hugs and a big hug from her coach.  I thought what character and maturity for these jr. highers , who normally might be more worried about the outside appearance, impressing others, usually more worried about themselves as we all are sometimes, but showing such friendship and loving your brother (or sister in this case).

I don't think I'll ever forget that moment and I hope my daughter won't either as she watched from the other side of the net.  How often we take for granted our gifts and talents God has given us, complain about sore legs, too tired to get up because we had a tough weekend tournament in soccer, forgetting the joy of being out there and playing the whole game.  My mom always reminded me of  "to whom much is given much is expected", which I think is very true and as much as we always fear sounding like our mother's, I sure want to pass that a long to my daughter so she understands how important that perspective is.