Sunday, February 24, 2008


“Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul and sings the tune without words, and never stops at all and sweetest in the gale is heard.” - Emily Dickinson

One of the activities that Lisa and I have enjoyed this winter is attending basketball games together. Two of Lisa’s three children are still playing organized basketball (one in high school and one in college) and it has been a pleasure getting to know them in this way. These games have also been a great way to meet each others friends in an easy going, social sort of manner. Every once in a while someone we meet at these games stands out in a special way. Last night that happened.
Over the last several months Lisa and I attended a young widowed support group as we were working through our grief journey. There were usually somewhere around 25 of us that attended these meetings on a monthly basis. From time to time we would run into friends from the group outside of the meetings. Last night that happened.
Apparently the word is out about Lisa and me, about our dating and marriage. Recently, at a basketball game we were attending, a friend from our group spotted us. He made a point to come and talk to us. He said he had heard about our engagement and that Bob and Susan had announced it at the most recent meeting. (We did give them permission to do that.) Of coarse everyone was really happy for us. Lisa asked him how he was doing and he got a little emotional and said he was lonely. It has been about a year and a half for him and he is lonely. It is a feeling that some of you know all too well, and others hope to never know. He said he would like to meet someone but really doesn’t know how to proceed at this point. Once again that reinforces to me what a gift it is that Lisa and I met each other as easily as we did. We wished him well and said that it will happen, just keep trusting. God will lead someone to him. He then said a very special thing. He said that seeing us and hearing our story gives him HOPE. He said seeing us together shows him that there can be happiness again, that there can be love again, that life can be good again! Hope! It is nice to know that we can model hope for some of the people who know us.
When I thought about hope, the following verse came to mind:
"... but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us. "Romans 5: 3-5
I’m still not to sure about the part about rejoicing in our sufferings. I think that is nearly humanly impossible, but I do believe in the truth of these verses. As widows we suffer, we persevere, our character is defined and, with God’s help, we come to have hope in the future. The Holy Spirit comes to us and lifts our hearts, our spirits, with hope. That is the way of God’s healing. We find ourselves with a brighter outlook because of the hope God gives us.
So, my friend, I’m glad that the gift of love God has given Lisa and me is also a gift of hope to you!

Monday, February 11, 2008

God Is Good

Greetings from Mexico! Lisa and I are here on our Honeymoon! I believe right now it is approximately 75 degrees warmer here than home in Grand Rapids. I think we picked a good week to be here.

Our wedding went very well. Thank you to all of you who were able to attend and even more of you who have been praying for us and wishing us happiness.

Joy has come - there is dancing!