Monday, July 19, 2010

A Living Story

This morning I had the opportunity to spend a couple of hours with a dear friend of mine. He is currently in the hospital recovering from a number of serious injuries that have completely changed his life and the life of his family forever.

As I drove home from the visit I started to think deep about what I participated in today. He was able to share a huge miracle with me the morning. Fresh off the doctor’s note pad, he is on the way to a very fast 100% recovery from all physical injuries. He can put pressure on all limbs now, and even wheel himself around the hospital. He was giddy with this new knowledge and new things to try. This is truly a miracle when you consider that fact that he had multiple fractures in all four limbs. In addition, he also shared with me that last week he was told that his larynx, which was damaged in the recovery period shortly after the accident, is also nicely recovering and will be 100% in a much shorter time frame than originally suggested.

The verdict on the brain injury is still out, but today I found a man in full control of his thoughts with some good pieces of memory. He has even seen a transformation in his tongue, which had some choice colourful (mostly blue) words at times since the accident, along with some fluent French which was nicely rejuvenated from his younger days. All credited to the brain injury. His tongue was crystal clear for the two hours I spent with him. He said that he is able to make some quick mind choices now with his speech that only a couple of weeks ago would not have happened and would have ended in some choice language that our moms would have quickly dealt with using a bar of soap. Another miracle.

On the way home I reflected on this man and being in his presence, as I listened to him speak of God’s grace and love for him, for his wife, for his family. I had this picture form in my mind of a huge theatrical stage where this family was simply cut down and laid bare for the world to watch with no warning to them or us. Where the script was set and the scenes carefully crafted and executed and I was being gifted with a front row seat where I would see God come close to a family in great need, in great crisis. A family made extremely vulnerable and completely raw.

The plot? God allows a horrific vehicle accident to happen, then begins to skilfully knit an unfathomable story together where a family is being tested, refined and transformed.

The sub plots?

How about this:

- Family of 7 separated from each other through distance and each found in shifting emotional spaces.

- Family and friends attempting to figure out God and the pressures of misguided love. Each, in their own way, desperately calling out to God.

- Financial chaos with complex financial decisions to be made.

- A child with burst appendicitis resulting in weeks of infection and recovery.

- A wife that is physically and emotionally exhausted, yet miraculously sustained by God’s hand. He carries her, this I know for certainty.

- Miracle after miracle of God’s hand embedded throughout the story line. From the accident through to each step of recovery, each step of life transformation.

- Amazing financial support from friends, various churches, and the extended family. All of it indelibly stamped with the fingerprint of God.

Today I saw one small act in a very large play that God has been unfolding for the world to see. Perhaps you’ve also had the opportunity to sit in the front row with me and at times were called upon by God to step onto the stage, their stage, and aid in some small way. Did you feel it like I did? Like you were on holy ground in the presence of God and this precious family, being asked to play a part of something very special that he was doing with this family. Stepping into a living story where God is refining, transforming all of the participants, even ourselves, even here from our front row seats. It’s like we were invited, or perhaps gifted by this family to share a sacred moment of theirs where God was coming close, sustaining, caring, loving, transforming, and we caught a glimpse of His greatness . . . of His sovereignty.

This story is not done, it is still young. There are many days, weeks, months of pain and joy yet to be lived by this family. Some Acts will be filled with tears while others filled with great joy. Yet in this story I am convinced that the far reaching impact of God’s love and tender care cannot be measured and it will not be contained. I am myself profoundly touched by God through this family. I am closer to God, yet I understand Him less. I trust Him more today than yesterday and have been able to see the miracle of transformation within my very own spirit.

My sovereign God, the Almighty One, the great I Am.

There is no one better to know, no one better to carry you and me than Him.

No one better.

None even close.


Friday, July 16, 2010

Looking for some Nibs

What’s the first food vise you go for when you are feeling down?

I’m always partial to some black licorice Nibs and a Mr. Jones Green Apple pop.

. . .

Alas, the corner store is closed.



Sunday, July 11, 2010

A Year Later

Yesterday my family all handled the remembrance of our mother in various ways. I made a meal using one of Mom's recipes. Another made some bread from the same cook book while listening to Mom’s favorite music. And then another spent the day with Dad, visiting the grave side, going for supper, reflecting some more. One trained for an upcoming race, in solitude, yet mentioned that he wished he could be here partaking with me in the food I had prepared, while the other spent the day with his children and the grandchildren, playing, enjoying life and experiencing the fruit of a great mother, a great grandmother. Each of us caught deep within our own thought and yet somehow throughout the day we remained intrinsically connected to one another, knowing and understanding each other’s feelings with few spoken words.

It was a peaceful, good day to remember Mom.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

My Mom

It was one year ago today that my mom passed away. My dad was in the hospital in Red Deer while mom was in the hospital in Lacombe. I stayed with dad to support him since he was unable to be at mom's bed side. Then I got the call from my brother. Time stood still for a while after which I shared the news with Dad. We had few words for each other, none were adequate.

This morning I find myself remembering all the good memories of a mom who loved me. I remember my mom spending a great deal of time at my bed side through some scary times of croup and bronchitis. Then every day coming home from school we would found something warm and freshly baked on the counter waiting for us to enjoy.  Killer meals where the food was so good. We talked her into helping us create a cook book a couple years before she passed away (thanks to my sister!). Now we have all those great recipes at our finger tips. I think I'll flip through it this morning and look for something to make.

Is you mom gone? What's your greatest memory?

Leading Change - the stuff of leaders

I just finished reading a book called The Extraordinary Leadership by John H. Zenger and Joseph R. Folkman. I found this book challenging on a single front for myself. It caused me to reflect on my past leadership wins and losses. So very many of them were around the issue of change. Leading people in value development, cultural change, exposing and couching teams and individuals in their move from one paradigm to another.

Perhaps the greatest test of a leader is how they lead a team through change. Greatest test or maybe the better word is "indicator" as to a leader's capacity to lead at different levels.

So a great question that the authors through out at me was to ask myself what change lay in front of me that I was working on. Do I have a running list of things that I wish were different in my organization? So I sat down and started writing. I ended up with a very long list! So a quick prioritization helped me focus on a couple of key things I need to lead my teams through. Should be fun!

So how about you? What is the change in front of you that you are working on?
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