But God cares deeply
Psalm 116:15 The Lord cares deeply when his loved ones die.
This weekend was unusually busy and intense. In the middle of it I learned my friend Vanessa, whose generosity I wrote about on April 4, died a month ago from cancer. Here’s what I wrote:
I struggled one whole morning to understand a series of marketing procedures new and not intuitive to me. In frustration I cried to the Lord, out loud, “I need help! I need someone who can show me what I’m doing wrong!
Within seconds of my prayer, a message flashed onto my Instagram screen from a Brazilian friend I haven’t seen or talked to for at least twenty years, a psychologist who worked with me in restoration ministry. “Debra, do you need any help with online advertising for the Karis book? I’m trained in that.”
Yeah. I was stunned. But wait—there’s more!
When I told Vanessa her offer was a direct answer to prayer, she said, “Well, your need is a direct answer to my prayer. Last week I was diagnosed with metastatic cancer. I asked God to give me something to do for someone else, to divert my focus from myself and my fear and worry about this cancer. Then I saw your announcement about the Karis book being published here in Brazil and thought, that’s it! I want to do all I can to help you let people know the Karis book is available now in Portuguese. I’ve been reading other things I’ve found written about Karis, and her faith is helping to stabilize mine as I walk through this battle with cancer.”
Vanessa died on the operating table. I don’t yet know more details than that. I only found out because a friend of Vanessa’s noticed my repeated inquiries on Vanessa’s Instagram about how she was doing and took the time to tell me she had died.
Vanessa was so sure she would beat this cancer. Perhaps I won’t ever know why she couldn’t. I’ve learned, though, that in these times when I don’t understand, I need to cling even tighter to the Lord, who sees the big picture I can’t see.
Yesterday the Lord comforted me very personally. Not just through my tears and my husband sitting with me as I cried. And by giving me a vision of Karis hanging out with Vanessa in Heaven. The Lord also cared for me through a friend who unexpectedly offered to help me solve yet another computer issue I find perplexing. A touch of kindness in my landscape of grief that means so much to me because it touches another area in which I’m weak and vulnerable.
So I’m praying God will touch each of Vanessa’s loved ones—her husband, her parents, her extended family, her friends, even her beloved dogs—with whatever specific kindness will let them feel how deeply he cares about each one of them, even in their grief.
Perhaps he already has.