Archive for January, 2017

Sharing the Love

By Kathy NickersonJanuary 24th, 2017mercyNo Comments

This is Grandson Number One. When we were taking family pictures at Thanksgiving, he asked me to snap this one of him with his great-grandmother. Note the look of adoration on her face. Yeah, we all look at John Michael that way. (Okay, the male members of the family probably don’t have this exact expression. But they pretty much share the sentiment.)

We don’t look at John with this kind of love and pride because he carries our legacy. Although that is awesome. I think it is something even deeper than that. I think when John was born, we may have understood something more about God, actually.

My rather simplistic theology is that God created humans because His love is so big it had to be expressed. He had to create humans so He could share the love He was already experiencing with Jesus and the Holy Spirit. That love just had to spill out onto another generation.

The same was true for our clan. We have been fortunate in our family to really like one another. And to love one another because God first loved us. (I know this is a blessing beyond words. If you, Dear Reader, have not had that benefit in you family, you could be the one who changes the course of things today. Email me.)

When John Michael was born and gave his first cry, his great-grandpa kicked up his cowboy boots and ran down the hospital corridor to see the boy. And we all followed him. Our family love was so big it had spilled over into another generation, and we could not wait to watch it grow.

That great-grandfather is watching from the great cloud of witnesses in Heaven now, but the spilled over love just keeps growing. And we keep smiling.

I hope you are smiling at someone today, too, Dear Reader. If you aren’t near your own family members or aren’t able to smile at them, please look around. Someone near you proably needs some Love.

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Let’s Not be Scared

By Kathy NickersonJanuary 15th, 2017mercyNo Comments

The patient isn’t scared for one simple reason: the doctor is her dad.

On the same week that we honor the life and work of a man who had a brave dream for our nation, a whole lot of people are really scared. Some people I count as friends are afraid that the world will take ten giant steps back on Innauguration Day. And, they assume I’ll be dancing at the parade.

Fortunately, the ballot box is still secret and sacred in our land. So, I’m not announcing how I voted. Suffice to say, I wouldn’t have been dancing no matter who won. But, I don’t think that is even the point right now. I think the point is this: Let’s not be scared. Of the future. Or of one another.

During our Christmas morning church service this year, my brother-in-law talked about the shepherds. They are my favorite part of the story. I’m writing a whole novel about them. But I’d never seen this perspective before. Kris told us that when the angel appeared to the shepherds and said, “Fear not,” he didn’t mean, “don’t be scared about seeing an angel.” (Although that would be freaky wild)

The angel meant, “Don’t be scared of what I’m going to tell you. Don’t be scared to leave your sheep, cross the dark hills in the middle of the night, traipse into Bethlehem and find a baby king sleeping in a manger. Don’t be afraid of a future that looks completely different than anything you ever dreamed of before.”

I think that seems like a good word for us this week. I know the future looks scary. But, I actually lived through the frightening decade of “Abraham, Martin, and John,” which many of you proably only know from history books. So, I’m finding myself able to stand back and wait this one out a bit.

I have no idea how things will go once the transition of office actually takes place. But I know we don’t have to be scared. Because there’s another song we used to sing when I was growing up. It may seem corny today, but it’s still true. Someone bigger than our President is actually in charge, and He has the whole world in His hands.

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Happy Jake Day

By Kathy NickersonJanuary 9th, 2017mercyNo Comments

In honor of a national holiday in our family, I’m reposting this wake-up moment I had a few years ago:

I was in the middle of a Thursday afternoon messy desk when someone in our waiting room picked up Serenity’s memoir. The woman read the back jacket blurb and then flipped through several pages. Finally, she looked up at me and said, “Is this girl still alive?”

“Why, yes,” I said. “She’s our daughter, actually. She’s had several bouts of cancer since that book. But she is quite healthy and happy now.”

Then I went back to my messy desk while the reader kept flipping pages. A few minutes later, she looked up again and said quietly, “Did she get to have the baby?”

Oh. My. Heart.

How soon I’ve forgotten those desperate days when we didn’t know the ending of this story. How quickly I have moved from, “Dear God, let them live,” to “What time is the ballgame Friday night?”.

Yet, it hasn’t been quick at all. It’s just that the wonderful parts of the past dozen years have overshadowed the frightening parts, and sometimes I forget. At least for a minute or two.

I shoved all the Very Important Papers to the back of my desk and walked out into the waiting room. “Yes,” I told the lady. “She had that baby, and  here is a picture of him today.”

Happy Eleventh Birthday, Jake. You are a miracle.

Jake posing with his brothers and their cousin, Claire, on her birthday.

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Happy News

By Kathy NickersonJanuary 2nd, 2017mercyNo Comments

 

“Here begins the Good News about Jesus the Messiah …” 

 

Those were the first words I read in my Bible for 2017. I pretty much stopped there. It was only half a verse. But, I felt like God pulled back a stage curtain, cued an orchestra, and arranged for the sun to rise at exactly the right moment to backlight that announcement. I saw it as a movie opening, basically.

I didn’t read any further for several minutes. I just soaked in those words. I could hear them in a Star Wars kind of overture. No, it was more like Lord of the Rings. Okay, neither of those are epic enough to describe the Son of God coming to save the world. My sensory experiences are still limited to earth stuff.

We can probalby agree, Dear Reader, that 2016 had some bumps. In fact, the final weekend of the year held yucky-sickness squared for me. Actually, it was a trifecta. I’m rarely ill, so I pretty much still want to die.

Honestly, I opened my Bible in something of a fog this morning and couldn’t even remember where I’d left off in my reading during the pre-holiday-get-out-0f-town-wrap-that-last-gift rush.

It was Mark. The most concise of the gospel writers. In the New Living Translation, he takes the enire forty days of wildernes temptation and boils it down to a couple of sentences. As if to say, “Check with the other guys for those details.”

And he opens his book with these delicious words, “Here begins the Good News …”

I have decided to take those words and own them. I may not have enough hope or faith or strength right this minute to own them for all of 2017. (Or all of today) But I shall own them for this hour. And, when my hope and strength run out, I’ll read them again.

Cue the music.

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