Do you like running? Did you catch any of this week’s Boston Marathon? I knew someone who was running this year, so I had a keen interest in the race, but it made me think about three other marathoners whom I admire
even though they weren’t running in the Boston Marathon. The first one is Jess, whose daughter’s cuteness (Sadie)
has adorned some of my Bless Your Baby entries. Jess is totally delightful! She’s also a marathoner, and the story goes
that she and her husband, Sam, ran a marathon together the morning before they got married. Doesn’t that put a big grin on your face? Jess has set aside many of her personal ambitions in order to love her family, and this past week she went with her husband and their little girl to Boston, where they cheered Sam on in the Boston Marathon. Way to go, Sam and Jess!! Life is a marathon, and you’re doing great! Last week while Alan was at a conference in Chicago, I spent a blissful afternoon with Jess and Sadie, along with two other women who are running a great race in life’s marathon.The hostess, Marlene, is an Iranian Christian and always makes the most delectable, exotic meals. I won’t go into details, but the transition from Iran (many years ago) was at great cost to her family, and she still cares for an older brother who was never able to recover emotionally. Despite the trials in her life, Marlene radiates a gentle kindness which makes me (and I suspect everybody else in her life space) feel dearly loved. She’s the kind of woman I wish lived next door to me, and I envy her neighbors! Definitely one of those blessed, virtuous woman whose worth is far above rubies.
Marlene’s sister-in-law is another rare gem. Lillian and her husband are caring for both her brother and her mother…and have been for years (in addition to rearing their own brood, a very demanding medical practice, and being very involved in their Messianic Jewish community, etc!). Their example of working tirelessly and extending grace to others is mind-boggling to me. I don’t think I had the metal to have lived such a rigorous, unselfish life of putting the needs of others ahead of my own. I know God certainly didn’t test me in that way. At any rate, I was deeply touched by the experience of sharing an afternoon of life and love with these precious spiritual kin (same Father and all mothered by my spiritual mentor, Mommu). It was super fun, refreshing, and so encouraging!
Life is a long, hard marathon, isn’t it? But, like Sadie, let’s just keep trying,
and in the end, everything will turn out right! 🙂 “Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Hebrews 12:1-2)
P.S.—All the pictures of Jess, Sam, and Sadie (except for the pictures taken on the day of our visit last week) were taken and used by permission of Jess, who is very generous besides being so cool! Thank you!