" I implore you, my child; observe heaven and earth, consider all that is in them, and acknowledge that God made them out of nothing (ex nihilo), and that mankind comes into being in the same way..." 2 Maccabees 7:28

Monday, May 26, 2008


There is a young bird couple living in our apricot tree in the front yard. I don't know what type of bird they are, but I have developed a great respect for them. They are average sized birds, not ornate in their plumage; the female is all gray and the male is slightly larger with gray and white tail feathers. As I sit on the living room couch with only enough energy to watch the wind blow the trees, I just marvel at that bird father. There is a gang of crows that is always hanging out; sometimes 3 or 4 at a time. The crows, with their massive black feet and their threateningly arched beaks are clearly more than capable of taking on the little Gray couple. But Mr. Gray is ever watchful- although the crows outnumber him he is so vigilant in protecting his nest! Every time a crow goes up he chases it down. This will go on for sometimes an hour at a time, with various crows moving in menacingly and Mr Gray swooping up to chase them off- the crows work in shifts but Mr Gray has to fight them off all on his own. But he never complains and puts his little heart into the fight! I wish I could help him somehow, as sentimental and unscientific as that may seem...I know , it's the circle of life. If I saved all the baby birds then it would throw off the food chain, birds would not have enough food, and eventually all the stars would fall from the sky, all because Faith didn't understand the way nature works. But I don't want to help them all, just Mr Gray and his family. After all, he's my neighbor; unfriendly though he may be at times (he sometimes swoops at me if I venture too near his tree). I mean, you gotta admire him- would you have the courage to swoop a human if you were his size?

It's especially on my mind as I have just been approved for genetic testing. I can go into the details of that in another post, but it seems so strange to have to make these decisions that effect my future family without the input of the one to whom it is the most important- the father of my children. It feels a heavy burden at times, although I know I'm not walking it alone.


Br. Robert, OP said...

No, you are not alone. Imagine that God has sent an angel to swoop down and keep away any invaders, that he is protecting you just as Mr Grey is protecting his nest. Probably, considering the number of people praying for you, it is more like a legion of angels supported by the prayers of a legion of saints.

This is my prayer for you: May God bless and guide and defend you in all that you are facing. May you have peace and joy in his care for you, and wisdom in the decisions ahead. Amen.

Colleen said...

Faith-(What a great and appropriate name!) You are lucky to have Br. Robert in you life.

If you read my blog you would know of a wonderful miracle that occurred to me. Before my diagnosis of MS, I was looking at having surgery for a herniated disk. Right before that surgery additional tests showed it was not a herniation, but a spinal TUMOR. All the Drs. agreed, as well as radiology and oncology depts. They showed me the scans and explained why it wasn't a disk. For one thing, it had a blood supply. Disks do not have a blood supply. Tumors do. So I'm facing a spinal tumor AND MS! My Dr. rearranged his schedule so I was his only surgical patient that day. I was looking at major, major surgery (taking my vertebra apart, disecting nerves out of the tumor, screwing and gluing the vertebra back together, resulting in possible permanent nerve/mobility damage, wearing a back brace, months of rehab). Everyone in my life (and even people I didn't know) were praying for me. And when the Dr. got into my spine--it was "just" a herniated disk! He even sent it to pathology because he couldn't believe it. Pathology asked "why are you sending us a disk?" He was mystified and thrilled. And so was my family and I.

I talk about this as my own Easter miracle. The diagnosis of the disk and MS was the evening before Ash Wednesday, my surgery was during Holy Week. I feel like this happened to me to give me further hope about the MS diagnosis. And it certainly has. You just have to know you are in God's hands.

sheshe said...

Oh I adore br. robert. I'm gonna pretend that prayer is meant for me too because I like it so much.

I know it hurts. To feel like your better half is missing.. a better half you may have not even met.

One of my favorite movies is Under the Tuscon Sun (if you want I can send it to you cause I own it). The reason I love that movie so much is because she is contantly designing her life around a family and love she doesn't even have. She is heartbroken too. Anyway, I love the part of the movie about how a long time ago these people built a train track for a train that wasn't yet in existence.

Faith, that's what we do... We build train tracks for a train that isn't YET in existence. But I know our train will arrive and this train will be so beautiful and gentle and kind and loving.

I think of you as I go about my day.

Br. Robert, OP said...

SheShe - I'll offer that prayer for you, too -- and for Colleen as well. It's a prayer I pray for myself, because I'm in such need of his grace.

Faith's name is very appropriate. I'm so blessed to have her as a friend, and especially to have her example to show me the way to love and holiness.

Colleen said...

br. robert-

Thank you! I will definitely appreciate your prayers. Through my recent trials I have come to re-appreciate the power of prayer, and especially the prayers of others. While I have always prayed for everyone else, I have found it difficult (selfish?) to pray for myself. A Sister friend said to "just acknowledge you are in God's hands." And I find comfort in that. But I am going to copy your prayer and keep it with me. And I have found it easier these days to find joy in life. Sometimes we do need to be reminded that things could be worse before we can see how wonderful our life really is.

Pat Wente said...

What I learned during chemo: prayers or "thoughts" send in your direction are tangible. I could feel them. In the way that I could feel an embrace, a pat on the back, or just someone's hands on my head or my shoulders.

Whatever it is, it is real and it makes a difference.

Colleen said...

Hmmmm.... I once knew a Pat Wente in Houston.