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Wednesday, July 15, 2015

United in Love

I have mentioned many times in this blog that I am a San Francisco Giants baseball fan.  Since our move east we have subscribed to Directv’s Extra Innings package so that we can watch their games out here.  One of the perks of the package is that we can watch any Major League Baseball game in both leagues.  And while we haven’t really watched many games besides those in which the Giants are participating in, it still has opened my eyes to the different nuances of the various teams and the cities and regions they play in.
Due to contract rights and other reasons that to be honest I am not really sure why, we are not always able to get the Giants broadcast of certain games.  At those times we have to watch the opposing team’s broadcast with their team’s TV announcers.  The first thing I realize is how much we take the renowned Giants broadcast team of Mike Krukow and Duane Kuiper for granted.  To many folks around the league, they are known as the best broadcast team in the business.  I think the thing that makes them so good is the way they seamlessly flow together.  Not only are they former professional players and use that experience and knowledge to enhance their play calling, but they have a great sense of humor, and have good relationships with the current and past players on the Giant’s team as well as with the workers, managers, owners and leaders in the organization.
Most of all, I think the thing that clinches it is that they are also best friends and from what I understand, have been since their playing days with the Giants in the early eighties.  That unity is the glue to their unique broadcast style and is what draws the listener into their antics and keeps them on the edge of their seats throughout the game… whether the team is winning that day or not!
As my wife and I have gone through the battle for her health over these last years, I have also come to realize the importance of unity, not only between the two of us, but with those who have come along beside us in this fight for life.  As I have mentioned on various other occasions, one of the hardest parts of this situation has been to deal with close individuals who have not been in unity with us. 
I can’t tell which was more difficult for me in the early stages of the diagnosis and our first steps to deal with the attack of Alzheimer’s… the utter confusion, emotional turmoil, frustration, anger, and the inner struggle going on as I was trying to handle a new job that took me out of the house for up to twelve hours a day, help my wife in an ever-increasing manner, set up and attend the many different doctor’s appointments, apply for financial aid programs, and at the same time try to keep our home life in some level of order and peace… or the anguish at having people disagree with almost every step we took, talk about us behind our backs and then distance themselves from us when we needed them the most.
The Apostle Paul relates all the positive things he is talking about for the believers in his letter to the Colossians to their unity in love… God’s love, which is a love that takes a person beyond themselves and causes them to take extraordinary actions without concern for their own lives and the limits of their comfort zones.
That unity is what caused that church to stand out in his mind.  It was what caused the teamwork that I wrote about in yesterday’s blog post.  The King James Version talks about “being knit together in love.” (Colossians 2:2)  According to Strong’s, that expression literally means “to force or drive together; to unite in association or affection.”  To my surprise, the opposite of that happened with some close individuals that I counted on to lift us up and support us in our greatest time of need.  And you know… a lot of water has passed under the bridge since then, but I still feel the disconnect or lack of unity with them as they continue to stay out of touch with my wife’s current status and needs as well as with our stand of faith for her healing.
I think it is interesting when you consider the way a knitted garment is put together.  Dictionary.com explains it as “interlocking loops of one or more yarns.”  When those different yarns are intertwined together they make a strength that far exceeds a single strand.  When Christians come together in an intertwined garment of God’s love, they create a force that is very difficult to break!  When we step in and become unified with those in need, we do more than just lift them up, but we also help to lessen the strain on them, assist them in their daily activities and give them a tremendous boost that energizes their emotions and their determination to see what they are going through all the way to victory!
One of the most difficult lessons I’ve learned through this chapter in our lives has been encountered when I looked at my own actions in the past and seen how they were not always focused on unity with those in need.  Those who have been a shock to me have caused me to shock myself out of my selfishness of the past and reach forth to a place of selfless giving to others in their times of need.  Have you gotten to that place yet?
Have a great day.  Stay in tune to His Word and keep asking yourself… “What, Who or How am I expecting to UNITE myself in love with other believers today?”

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