All That Matters

My grandma is dying. Every minute that passes by is another gift, every breath is assumed to be her last. My dad is waiting beside her bedside, and rotates care with a hospice worker. He wrote her a letter of goodbye, put it into a poem, and inches forward into the suspended animation of this vaporous existence.

There are bombs exploded in the background, sedition in the community of faith where he serves as the ragamuffin pastor. In the midst of his mother’s “home going”, venomous attacks have been launched at his character. Some of the people for whom he has served, and loved, and trusted have stabbed him in the back and invited others into the shrapnel.

But my dad hasn’t responded. All he does is love. Yes, in his unorthodox, socially awkward limp ~ he knows one thing: the love of family. Which, at the end of the day, is all that matters. And he is teaching me about priorities…

My daughter Ashlyn fell asleep on my chest tonight. She is scheduled for brain surgery with a Neurosurgeon from Duke University Hospital, to decompress the abnormality known as Chiari Malformation. In a few weeks they will reconstruct the base of her brain. I don’t even know how process this journey of recent weeks… only to say

Family is all that matters. In comparison, I don’t care about Exodus Church. I don’t care about Lakeshore either. I don’t care about all the accolades in this temporary existence. I don’t care about ministry or reputation or google or theological positions or physical beauty or winning or writing a book like you keep asking me to. I don’t care about building a big church or preaching a sermon next week or vision casting or problem solving or being a good orator or bombs going off behind my back or who wins the election or who loses the debate or who might be reading this because they heard scandalous things and set out to investigate my blog. I don’t care about any of those things.

The only thing I care about right now is loving Jamie with the intensity of a hurricane, and being the best daddy that three little girls could ever dream of.

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