My wife and I met with some members of her family soon after our return from our three year stay in Oklahoma. During that visit we brought them up to date on the current status of my wife’s health. I had called them from Oklahoma right after the initial brain scans had been taken and deciphered by the medical team we were working with in Tulsa and although we didn’t really have any more detailed information, I felt it was important to go over what we knew in case they had any questions. I wanted to be very upfront and honest with them as we approached the long road ahead of us.
After the discussion one of Piper’s relatives turned to me and stated “Well, you’ll have to take the lead on this.” I had a thousand different things fly through my mind at that comment and to be honest they all centered around my immediate reactionary thought of “Dah… what do you think I’ve been doing!” Now, I didn’t mean to be disrespectful, but since I had already been dealing with the situation for over two years without any assistance (neither asked by me or volunteered by them), I just assumed that position from day one. After all, she is my wife, the most wonderful and most important individual in my life. Piper is the one person I know better than anyone else in this entire world… Why would I even consider yielding the responsibility of her care to anyone else but me?
At the time of that conversation we were talking strictly about the medical part of the situation, and that was the way I interpreted the reference of the comment. What I didn’t realize at that time, was the far reaching other sides to that statement that would add to my already bursting list of responsibilities. Besides everything else, I came to understand that I also had to take a leading role in helping others understand how to deal with Piper’s health, show them the best ways to interact with her, and when to protect her from those who would unknowingly harm her by their emotions, negative words and worry. I also realized that I had a responsibility to help them to build their faith for Piper’s recovery.
The last part was and has been the hardest part. While most folks have been open to our stand of faith and perk up when I share God’s perspective about her healing with them, a few close to her have not been so receptive… drawing distant from us, being quiet in our company and then questioning our actions and decisions with others behind our backs. What I have come to learn and practice with these individuals is to simply share life… God’s Zoë life with them.
I found myself twisting and turning for quite a while in the wee hours of the morning today. I finally rolled over and stared off into the dimly lit bathroom across the room and began to think about the Word of God and the idea of “perspective” that I have been writing about. After a few moments I started to consider what Jesus’ perspective was while He walked this earth. My immediate thought was that His perspective was always about life… The God kind of Zoë life as defined in John 10:10 and other such verses. He always had the right words, the right answer and the right actions when it came to people’s needs. And they were always forgiving, encouraging, loving and life-giving.
When everyone wanted to stone the women caught in adultery, He stood alone in taking the opposite route that included forgiveness and the giving of a second chance. He loved on Peter, forgave him and re-established him as a leader when Peter stood in the deep clutches of failure and self-destruction. He saw past the outward expression of Paul’s incorrect understanding of the Father’s plan for mankind and helped him to realize the true hunger of his heart and literally change the known world through his missionary trips and writings of the New Testament. He so loved you and me that He gave His life in the place of our sins and failures so that we could bring His life and light into a confused and dying world.
Jesus told His followers that “the thief cometh not but to steal, and kill, and destroy: (But) I am come that they (who believe on Me) might have life and that they might have it more abundantly.” (John 10:10 KJV) Now that the Lord has returned to His rightful place at the right hand of the throne of God, we are His hands and feet in this world. And the torch has been passed onto you and me. Now it’s our responsibility to be the bearers of His Zoë life.
At times that includes leading the unbeliever into a relationship with Jesus as their personal Savior and Lord. At other times it entails bringing a hot meal to someone in need, going out of your way to visit the sick or encourage those going through a difficult time. For me with certain struggling family members, it has been a warm smile, an encouraging report of the little miracles I regularly see in Piper and sharing small glimpses of how the Lord has been working in our lives in the midst of the daily difficulties we regularly work through. I always make a point to stay positive and not feed anybody’s fears. I am watchful over what I share and how I share it, and I always attempt to point our successes to the Lord as a place where we can agree as a reference for our common faith.
When I think about the methodology that Jesus employed, I don’t find a place for criticism, judgement, complaining or hopelessness. Can you? To me it is all about faith in the Lord Jesus and our love for all of God’s people. (See Colossians 1:4 and Ephesians 1:15) It all points back to His perspective of the Zoë, God kind of life… and I for one, can’t think of a better perspective… wouldn’t you agree? Have a great day. Stay in tune to His Word, and keep asking yourself… “What or Who’s PERSPECTIVE am I expecting to emulate today?”