Friday, March 24, 2006

Without a doubt, yesterday was the day I have dreaded most this year, and to be perfectly honest, my choice would have been to enclose myself in my office and deal with the pain privately. That will never happen in this line of work. In spite of the fact that every memory of our great loss was and is painful, God’s promise of unmerited, yet immeasurable grace, peace and joy were and are evident in every moment, and I am grateful for encouraging phone calls, thoughts, letters and prayers for my family in the States, my family in Tepic, and for me.

I started the day off at a ladies’ breakfast from which I didn’t return home until almost 1. When I got home, the little rustic table on my front porch was covered with flower arrangements, potted plants and love letters from different people from the Tepic church who had stopped by to share with me. I checked my email and found other letters of encouragement.

I also found an automatically-generated alert from Chase bank that a withdrawal from the work account of more than $400 had been made yesterday, pretty strange since I hadn’t made any transactions in that account for over a week. A quick check of the account online, revealed not only one unauthorized debit withdrawal for over $400, but also 5 other smaller withdrawals, and all of them listed the exchange rate in rupees! The $404 withdrawal was to pay Ryan Airlines in India! God chose an interesting way to take the immediate edge off the focus on my personal pain. To make a long story sort of shorter, a claim has been submitted to the dispute department, and my debit card (which I have NEVER, ever used anywhere but at the ATM at one bank 4 blocks from my house) has been cancelled.

When I finally finished dealing with that issue, I put the finishing touches on a platter of capirotada, a kind of gross-tasting (until you get used to it) and gross-looking (you never get used to that) Mexican bread pudding with raisins, dried figs, candied quince and guava, etc., that is the traditional Easter/Lent dessert, and I quickly reviewed my lesson for our weekly ladies’ Bible study in María Esther’s house. María Esther and her daughter María Luisa surprised us with homemade tamales and hot chocolate to go with the capirotada. The ladies hung on every word of the lesson, shared some very deep-rooted prayer requests, and reached out to their sisters in love that only God can give to people from such diverse and disparate social backgrounds. Once again, I came away marveling at the power of God’s love and Word to bridge differences, transform lives, comfort by His Spirit, and restore vigor in all of us. The Bible study started right on time at EXACTLY 5 :), but I didn’t get home until nearly 9!


At 7:37 AM, Blogger Jacob Hantla said...

To my precious mom,

I know that nothing I can say right now can take away the pain, but I just want to write to say that I love you more than I ever thought that I could. And this morning, waking up at 2:30 unable to sleep, I think that recognize once again with tears on my cheeks just how much I loved dad. Praise God that this day hurts and that the missing place in our hearts is so profound because dad was so special and just so filled with love for all of us, even for us kids who were only his kids for a few years. And I struggle this morning with the question of why now and all the what ifs, but thank you for that reminder that God our perfect and almighty Father filled with so much more love for us than we could ever fathom or experience knew what he was doing when he took our earthly dad home. But I can trust through the hurt and joyfully remind myself of the depth of God’s love, “Oh what manner of love the father has given unto us that we should be called the sons of God.” And praise God that we don’t have to “grieve as others do who have no hope. For since we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so, through Jesus, God will bring with him those who have fallen asleep.”

Oh mom, I wish I could be there with you right now to just hug you and cry with you. Just know that you are not alone in your pain because not only are we praying for you today and filled with love for you, but God is your comforter. I pray that you not be anxious for how you will get through this day or that you would not survive it by ignoring it (same for all of us), but that, as Paul teaches in Phil 4:6-7, “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your request be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.”

Mom, I love you. Thanks for allowing me to be your son and for being one of my two great moms.

With more love than I could ever express, your son,



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