Upon hearing of Andrew’s death I was speechless and numb. As I began to weep, I started to pray.
“Lord, you know I love you. You know I trust you. You know I believe you are good. But, Lord, you know I have to ask ‘Why?’”
“Why now? At Christmastime?”
“I hate that I am preparing to go buy my children Christmas presents and Melanie is preparing to bury her son.”
And quietly, in my questioning, He spoke.
Lisa, why are you buying your children gifts?
“Because I love them, Lord and I want to shower them with affection. I want them to celebrate an outward expression of my love.”
And what will you do with the gifts that you buy?
“I’ll wrap them and place them under the tree for my children on Christmas Day, Lord.”
What will your children do with the gifts?
“Why they’ll take delight in them and enjoy them and use them.”
What will Melanie do with Andrew?
Me, softly, “She’ll place him in a box and present him to you, Lord.”
And I will take great delight in him and enjoy him and use him.You may not see it yet, but Melanie is blessed among women. She has the opportunity to give me a very precious, rare and costly gift that most can never give. She knows I will use his story.
This is the tribute I wrote entitled "The Gift" upon hearing that my sweet friend Melanie's son, Andrew passed away last year. Andrew fought brain cancer with courage bravery and dignity.
I read these words every day for awhile as I prayed for Melanie and her family. These words and the feelings they invoke caused me to thank God for my own children and hug them a little closer each day.
I read it the very day I was diagnosed with cancer myself and I read it many times as I was going through the endless tests associated with a cancer diagnosis and I wondered how Melanie did it with her child.
Although it's been awhile since I last read these words, I've been praying extra hard for Melanie this week. As I read the words again this morning, I felt all the emotions of this season last year. I felt the questions again, the grief, the hurt for my friend.
This Christmas, Melanie prepares to give the same gift she gave to Jesus last year, her son--the same gift she's given each day, each hour since last year and the same gift she will be giving each Christmas until she too enters heaven's gates.
Today marks the one-year anniversary of Andrew's death. Would you please take a minute to go leave a word of encouragement and support for Melanie?
No one has ever seen God,
not so much as a glimpse.
This one-of-a-kind God-Expression,
who exists at the very heart of the Father,
has made him plain as day. John 1:18 The Msg