Monday, May 08, 2006

A Note on Lee

I don't really know exactly why I am writing this now, but I felt a certain responsibility to express some of my feelings on the matter. I was just reading Janie's Blog and she is struggling with the same thing. So here goes...

My next door neighbor, Lee, passed away yesterday of a heart attack leaving his wife, who is incapacitated because of a chronic back disease that required her doctors to fuse five of her vertebrae together, to fend for herself. The shock for the Wife and I was that Lee was so vibrant and alive and healthy. For the year and a half he lived on our block, he would go for a long walk every morning and he would come home and work on his yard that was so meticulously manicured. He was always waving at everyone who entered our neighborhood and he always greeted them with a smile. Of all the old people that live in our neighborhood (and there are a lot) he was not one that we expected to leave us so soon.

This unfortunate event leaves his wife in a terrible bind. She cannot function without his help. What is she going to do? I know she has family but they are far away and have lives of their own. The question that is begging to be asked is "Why?" Why would God allow such bad fortune come to such a wonderful family? Janie is asking the same thing on her blog. Why should a loving God allow such tragedy?

I realize that any answer I offer here could be considered trite considering the heartache that others feel and that I have not felt, but I feel like I should give it my best shot.

I believe all of us were sent here to Earth to learn certain things that will benefit us in the hereafter. For some it is patience, for others it is service, and for others still, it is compassion or forgiveness. I don't pretend to understand the timing that God has for all of us, but in His infinite wisdom, He knows our deficiencies and our strengths and allows us to experience tests that will try us and our mettle. For Janie's friend, perhaps the lesson is selflessness and faith as Janie has mentioned. Perhaps for Janie it is service to her friend in this hour of need. Perhaps for the lovely wife of my friend, Lee, it is perserverance and self-reliance.

It is up to us to battle through and become better men and women. It is up to us to lean on each other and seek comfort in times of trial. I realize that sometimes God appears to be distant and uncaring but, in fact, the opposite is true. He loves us. He cares for us and he wants to extend his arms and embrace us in our times of trial. It is up to us to seek those arms.

Janie, may God bless you and your sweet friend and her husband. Lee, may you rest in a heavenly abode this evening and may your wife find comfort in the arms of her Heavenly Father. God loves you and for that reason he allows you to experience heartache and pain.


Anonymous Grandpa Jones said...

What a sobering subject today!! Tom, I so appreciate your thoughts and concur with them. With all events of this type, we all ponder at the people that are affected, and our hearts go out to them. We should also ponder what we can do to support them, to comfort them, and to serve them in the years to come. I believe the master plan that God has, will be a marvel to behold when that time comes, until then we must serve each other and be Christlike in that approach, and much good will come because of that. I haven't and will never blame God for such events. I believe He is our only hope for better things. My heart goes out to all that have reason to mourn and My offer to help goes out as well.

9:10 AM  
Anonymous brianna said...

We just did the lesson in the Wilford Woodruff manual about death and resurection. It is an amazing lesson, and reading your beautiful post was so inline with what we learned on Sunday. Your post is a beautiful testimony. Thank you.

7:56 PM  
Blogger John Cowart said...

Well said.

12:42 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...


6:00 AM  
Blogger Lucy Stern said...

I don't think I could have said it better. We all have so much to learn and we never know where life is going to take us, we have to roll with the punches and come out clean. Hopefully we all turn to our Heavenly Father in these times.

11:16 PM  
Blogger Better Safe Than Sorry said...

my friend is doing so much better than i am, it actually makes me feel worse about it. she is coping so well. all i can do is sit there and listen to her, details of what her husband is going through, the frustration she has with insurance companies turning down their claims, i don't feel like i'm doing enough, yet she thinks i am. i don't understand this at all, i don't like some of the things i've been thinking, i understand the idea of me accepting god's will and learning from it, but i don't understand what that should be. i see no answers in any of this.

11:03 AM  
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1:52 PM  
Blogger Natsthename said...

Obviously, this Anonymous commenter (above) didn't even read the post!

Anyway, that was very touching. I can see why you've got The Perfect Post award today.

I don't hold the same beliefs, but I respect yours! Peace.

2:50 PM  
Blogger MommaK said...

Congrats on your award today :)

6:45 PM  
Blogger Suburban Turmoil said...

Love this post. Very nice. Congratulations on your Perfect Post award! :)

8:47 PM  

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