Two times this week, I have been impacted by the sound of silence.
We walked into a silent church.
That never happens.
Music is one of the aspects of our church that we love - one that drew us in to becoming members. As musicians ourselves, music is an important part of the way we like to worship.
However at an impromptu prayer service on New Year's night, there was no talking, no music, only silence.
We were praying for our Music Minister's son Anthony, who had gotten the call earlier in the day from the transplant team that a heart had become available.
Without Ray, to lead our music the following Sunday, we again felt the heavy silence of his absence - but not of His absence.
The beginning of each Sunday morning service goes like this:
Ray: "God is good!"
Congregation: "All the time!"
Ray: "The Lord be with you."
Congregation: "And also with you."
Ray: "Would you please stand as you are able and turn to hymn #such-and-such, 'Title of said hymn.'
But this past Sunday, after the chimes rang out the Call to Worship, there was silence.
The platform was empty because no pastor, no choir member, and no acolyte, had processed in yet. The whole congregation sat in silence for a good 20 seconds before the organist asked us to stand and sing; but, in that time of quiet reflection, you could almost feel the prayers going up for Ray and his family.
That silence was like a way of honoring the Herman family.
I could hear Ray's words, "God is good!" in my head, and I couldn't have agreed more.
Engineer and I along with a friend of ours trundled up to Dallas to visit Anthony with some of our youth group after the service.
Because of visitation restrictions only a few of us could be on the floor at one time. I went in with Kathleen, Anthony's mom, to see him while the others made their way downstairs to a larger waiting area.
Even though he was in a dimly lit room, I could see the color in his cheeks. How beautiful those little rosy cheeks were! Anthony's lips which I had been accustomed to seeing dry and colorless were now plump and pink. He looked like any other sleeping child...he looked normal.
I think pink is my new favorite color.
When we started the Children's Organ Transplant Association (COTA) campaign in honor of Anthony Herman last February, we thought we would be clever and ask for people to donate $1.40 on the 14th of February.
Little did we know how important the number 14 would be:
- Anthony's sister Abby turned 14 just before the campaign started
- Ray asked Kathleen to marry him on February 14th, 20 years prior to the campaign
- It was on February 14th that Anthony's story went public and was picked up by the media
- February 14th is also Congenital Heart Defects Awareness Day
- Anthony's eldest sister Samantha graduates from high school in 2014
- It was on November 14th that Anthony was listed on the heart transplant list
- He was on that list for 14 months
- On the first day of 2014 the Hermans got the call that a heart had become available
- I received a text from Kathleen that read, "Samantha counted the number of tape strips across Anthony's incision. Would you like to know how many there are?" I replied, "14?"
With all of the excitement of the last few days you can imagine my relief to be reviewing eMeals (referral link) again so my dinner plan and shopping list is all worked out for me. I am going to do a little tweaking since I need to cook this goose in my fridge and didn't get to it last week.
We are currently using their Paleo plan since we are trying to go more in that direction.
Sunday - Dinner on the road
Monday - Roast Goose, Steamed Veggies, & Rice
Tuesday - Honey Garlic Pork Tenderloin w/Carrot & Raisin Salad
Wednesday - Baked Snapper w/Onions & Peppers
Thursday - Coconut Almond Chicken w/Mint Cauli-Rice
Friday - Date Night
Saturday - Baked Hamburger Steaks w/Creamy Cauliflower Succotash
This is part of MPM.