On this November 11th, I wake thinking of my father-in-law — my husband’s father, who I was just two months shy of meeting. The proudly full-blooded Irishman with the big voice and larger than life presence, the loving father of four boys. Passionate plate-sized pancake maker, committed golfer and fast friend who would be celebrating his 75th birthday today.
I am thinking of my Papa, who, with his younger sister and brother, arrived in the United States by ship 57 years ago today. My auntie describes them as “three little immigrants, with no more than 20 words of English between us, spending 12 days unaccompanied on the LONG crossing from Germany. What an adventure.”
I think on this Veterans Day of those who serve and give in honor of our country what we so often ignore. For those who’ve lost life and limb and suffer unseen injuries, for those who’ve been forgotten and those who’ve been celebrated. I am remembering today the veterans and their families.
And I am aching over those killed and lost and those forever traumatized by the devastating typhoon in The Philippines. I am offering prayers, even as I am unable to grasp such devastation.
Yes, there’s much circling in my heart and mind today about what it means to be human — in the individual, family and global realities. These births and deaths, these sacrifices and celebrations, these doubts and pains, these unfathomable sorrows.
This morning I’m featured on Bible Dude as a part of the weekly Living the Story column, and I am writing about blood — this surging force of life, this infilling, this holy protection that saves.
I wrote this about the power of blood last week, before the recent events in Asia, and in it talked about the Red Cross as it related to a conversation Lala and I shared about blood and rescue. This morning, if you desire to act in a tangible way to help provide relief and assistance to the 4.3 million people across 36 provinces affected by Typhoon Haiyan, you may want to give here as part of the Red Cross’ efforts.
Here’s an excerpt of my piece for BibleDude:
On Monday, we take communion around our worn dining table after missing it on Sunday, share the hand blown goblet from Mexico filled with grape juice poured from small boxes. ”This is His blood shed for you,” my husband says, and the five of us remember the drink that makes us one and the death that is our life.
I stand at the window and look across the street to the maple tree, leaves dripping burgundy scarlet, and it is an exquisite dying — these branches that will soon be stark silhouette against winter sky. This shedding to prepare for the green grace of spring.
Later, we drive past the large building next to the hospital with the sign that reads “Red Cross,” and my five-year-old asks what they do. I explain that (among other help and rescue) the Red Cross receives blood from people who want to donate theirs so it can be put inside the bodies of those who are sick.
“And the healthy blood makes them well,” I tell her…
I’m so thankful to be back with you all again after my post-31 days break and plan to write some more this week. May God bless and keep you today, friends.