March 30, 2016 on 11:30 am | By | In In God's Pocket | Comments Off on WEDNEDAY THOUGHT 3/30/16: GOD’S GENTLE, GUIDING HAND


Update: I wrote last month that I felt compelled/ urged/ pushed to talk to a very ill family member about his faith.  Like Jonah, I wanted to avoid the issue and run away (and hope I’d get swallowed by a big fish). I confess that I kept putting it off for better than five weeks.  Well, here’s the rest of the story, as they say:  

My brother-in-law, Richard, circa age 53, has cancer. He learned yesterday morning that he has between one week to three months left. He is down to 130 pounds and very weak.  When we learned of this, Susan was in her Tuesday morning church small group.  Also, Susan and Richard’s mother, Peggy, was in another small group.  I was working in my office.    

Here’s the God’s-gentle-hand-part: Immediately upon getting the call from Richard’s wife, the wonderful women in Susan’s group and in Peggy’s group, miles apart, circled the prayer wagons and surrounded them both (more like inundated them) with love, support and prayer for them and for Richard and for Mary, Richard’s wife. Perfect timing.

Me? Without taking the time to think and find convenient excuses, I hopped in the car and drove the half mile to Richard’s house.  And Richard and I talked. No, I didn’t lay hands on him and raise my eyes and voice to heaven.  We just talked.  We agreed the whole situation sucked.  Then I reminded him that God loves him and that there is absolutely nothing he can do about it.  He told me that he and God have had that talk, that it’s all okay, and if he has to die soon, at least “I get to see my dogs, my brother, and Dad.”

That was it. Nothing all that dramatic.  But the absolutely awesome thing was that God’s gentle, guiding hand did it all with perfect timing for Susan, Peg, and me.  And Richard seems accepting of the inevitable.  And we have all been inspired by the love and support of our church family.

I do not have an appropriate quote today. So, I just want to thank everyone who has been praying and caring for Richard, Susan, Peg, and Mary.  Please, please, please continue those prayers.  Also, a special prayer for Marjie Sinclair, who has been gently prodding (more like shoving) me to step up with Richard.  Marjie, you are a wondrous and annoying hair shirt, and I appreciate you.

God bless to all. – jri


 John Ingrisano


March 30, 2016


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