Wednesday, February 7, 2007

mike and sam

mike lawrence is a wonderful human being. he is strong and courageous. he thinks deeply about his faith - we have excellent, weird, thought-provoking email conversations about theology and following jesus and what it means to not just talk about this stuff but live it. mike is a servant - he just wants to help. he's one of those people who doesn't care anything about being in the spotlight, or having everyone know he's done something to help. mike is an example for me of what it is to be jesus in this world, with skin on, flawed and funny and imperfect. he does his work. he keeps the faith.
mike has a daughter, samantha, who is a grownup, though she's disabled. she has seizures, has trouble walking, and isn't able to function at the same mental capacity as someone her age. mike has been taking care of sam all her life. he adores her. it's not easy. last year when sam wanted to move into an assisted living facility - a house with other women who also have similar disabilities, with a house mom to help take care of them all - mike was happy to help make that happen. he knew it would be good for her - to feel independent, to have friends, to do for herself. and he wept. he was going to miss her. he did miss her. although she called him every day, and he saw her all the time.
when sam comes to journey, she has her own rocking chair mike brings for her. she sits and eats food she likes - she loves mcdonald's - and rocks, and listens to country music on her headphones. she adores randy travis - mike's taken her to see him in concert. she's sweet but salty, too - i ask her how she's doing and she tells me about the boy who dropped her or something she's frustrated about, or she tells me she's listening to the greatest music ever, or that she loves her fast food breakfast.
i just got a call from mike. sam wasn't doing well this past weekend. one of her legs wasn't working right. they did medical tests; the doctors said that her meds probably weren't working correctly. mike took her to the e.r.
sam has a brain tumor.
they're doing tests today. they did a bunch yesterday. they'll do more tomorrow. they don't know if this is a primary tumor, or maybe a secondary tumor to something larger somewhere else.
this sucks. it's shitty. i have no words for this. i have no sweet words to give mike. i have nothing to say to him except, I am so sorry.
i will not tell mike and kathie, his wife, how god is in this, how it's god's plan, how all things work together for good for them that love the lord and are called according to his purpose, how god wants them just to have faith and be strong.
i hate that crap. it's the wrong thing to say to someone who's in pain - unless that's what they ask you to tell them.
what mike's feeling today is, This kid has had enough to deal with. Give her a break, God. wtf?
and i feel the same thing. except, it's also what i'm saying about mike and kathie. they've had enough to deal with. give them a break, god. wtf?

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