A Cold Tragic Christmas Threatens Joy.

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A Cold Christmas Threatens Joy.

It is 12⼠outside ~ a bleak midwinter morning if ever there was one.

It is Christmas week and Sunday the fourth candle of advent will be lit at Orcas Island Community Church.

I will speak on “Let Every Heart Prepare Him Room,” picking up on the theme of “Joy to the world, the Lord is come.”

Last Monday Mark felt severe pains in his chest and was airlifted off the island for a life-saving surgery removing a cholesterol blockage from an artery. Scary, but the amazing news is on Monday he plans on being back at work baking his scrumptious goodies at his popular coffee shop/bakery.

Wednesday afternoon Jordan went snowboarding and while doing a flip landed wrong on his neck leaving him numb from the neck down. It was a windy, blustery evening and the medical airlift helicopter couldn’t fly in the high winds. A Coast Guard helicopter tried and after one failed attempt at touching down, managed heroically to pick Jordan of and airlift him to Harborview hospital in Seattle.

Emergency medical flights carry only the patient, so Jordan’s mother Rachel and other family members had to wait for the next ferry and make their way on icy, snowy roads to Seattle ~ they arrived in Seattle four hours after Jordan did. Tests and surgery the next morning revealed that a vertebra in Jordan’s neck was shattered and his spinal cord severed. His chances of ever walking again are slim.

These events follow other recent tragedies on the island: Dana, a mom in her 30’s with three young boys and an adoring husband died while resting on a couch watching a movie with her kids. Darlene Pohl, a vivacious young woman who served the teens of the island through our local “Fun House,” slumped over and died just moments before landing in Seattle on a commercial flight.

The economic slump has hit the island hard too. Rosario, the largest resort on Orcas, closed in October, leaving 200+ people out of work. Real estate and construction have slumped badly hitting the working population and Wall Street has decimated the portfolio of many retirees who call Orcas home.

When you live on a small island as I do, you feel these events very personally. We’re all connected and therefore all affected.

So when I announce joy to the world on Christmas Sunday, I am announcing joy to the world of Orcas Island, which at this moment is reeling from losses.

What do you say in such a moment that does not trivialize our losses, but rather hits them head on? What would YOU say? More of my thoughts in a day or so.

Yours for the pursuit of God in the company of friends, Dick Staub.

PS. And remember, “these are the best of times and the worst of times, but they are the only times we have.” (For Now).

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    Posted in Staublog in December 20, 2008 by | No Comments »

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