On our way home from an unusually grueling playdate a few weeks ago, the boys and I saw fire trucks parked at the swimming hole a few blocks from our house. A news helicopter hovered overhead. Well, thanks--or no thanks--to the internet, I didn't have to wonder for long what had happened. The news channel's website said they were searching for a 14 year-old boy who'd disappeared under the water while swimming with his friends. Ten minutes after I stopped hearing the helicopter, the site was updated with the news that they'd found the boy's body. I was weepy for the rest of the day, thinking about his family.
Several years ago when we lived in Bend, the pastor of the church we attended and his wife Kathy had a teenage daughter who was battling leukemia. I remember attending a prayer time for the daughter, and one of the women in the church asked Kathy how she dealt with the uncertainty of her daughter being in and out of remission.
Her answer came back to me as I mulled all this over the past few weeks. Kathy stretched out her arm with her palm up and her fingers open. "I hold her lightly," she said.
Kathy knew that her daughter belonged not to her but to God. We all do. And every day of health that we enjoy and every breath that we take is his good gift. And rather than live my life in fear, I would do well to receive his gifts with thankfulness--and to hold them lightly.
This seems an appropriate place to note that our friend Becky Ward died recently of complications arising from surgery. Becky was too shy to comment here on the blog, but she often made my day by sending me personal comments on my posts via email. I know that her friends and family, particularly her children and grandchildren, will be missing her until the day they see her again.