Five years ago tonight, I sat in the front pew during Adoration, my daughter curled in my arms. It was the last time she was in church before her death 3 months later.
When I look at these photos now, what I see is Courtney’s smile and her looking at others. My daughter was blind and yet she “saw” people and their struggles. She did not miss a thing.
Tonight I spoke at an event celebrating the pro-life medical practice, started by Dr. John Bruchalski, a former abortionist. John is a dear friend, my former employer as well as the physician who attended Courtney’s death. He said of Courtney tonight “When Courtney looked your way, she saw you heart to heart. It was never about her, it was always about you.”
Truer words were never spoken.
The greatest desire of every human heart is to be seen, known and loved. My daughter was blind, wheelchair bound and non-verbal, yet to be in her presence you knew God was there, right next to her holding her close, just as close as I am holding her in this photo.
Y’all, we live in a society that is transactional and not relational. It’s scary and tragic and we must rise to the call to set out on mission, to know, love and serve the Lord by seeing, knowing and loving the least among us. It does not matter your ability or disability. You have what you need in this moment to do the work God sent you to do. You have it because you have Him. This is how Jesus works y’all. One moment at a time, being fully present in the joy or pain, calling us toward holiness.
I remember Father giving anointing Courtney, the smell of incense and the sound of Courtney’s laughter and the weight of her in my arms. She knew she was almost done running the race and she made sure those of us who loved her were prepared to finish strong running right next to her. What a gift of pure JOY for this mama.
God is good ALL the time. He remains. He abides with us, Even unto death.
Abide with Me by Audrey Assad:
Abide with me; fast falls the eventide;
The darkness deepens; Lord, with me abide;
When other helpers fail and comforts flee,
Help of the helpless, oh, abide with me.
Swift to its close ebbs out life’s little day;
Earth’s joys grow dim, its glories pass away;
Change and decay in all around I see—
O Thou who changest not, abide with me.