Steve and Liz

December 10, 2000

I’ve known Steve and Liz Massey for almost 17 years. Steve was an elder of the church I pastored in Texas and Liz often sang solos during our worship services. Their children attended Awana with our children. We lost touch when we moved to Oak Park in 1989. About eight years ago Steve came through Chicago on business and we ate supper together. I was surprised to learn that he had started writing poetry, and I recall that he sent me a poem about Nick and one of his friends. Then in 1996 we traveled through Dallas and saw Steve and Liz at a reunion of folks from our old church. That’s when I learned that Liz had been having some serious health problems. A few months ago Steve wrote to say that Liz needed a kidney transplant and that their son Aaron was going to donate one of his kidneys to his mother.

After the operation Steve sent me a small book of poems he had written called Plans For You. At a low point he wrote a poem called “The Author of Miracles”-

“We need a miracle now, a band-aid or aspirin won’t do, ‘cause we need a miracle now. Not a walk on water, or mountain in the sea miracle, but a healing from you. We’ve so little faith somehow, but since all power resides in you, that’s where we’ll rest now. Lord, we’ve just found out, that we need a miracle now, so we send up our request and rest in you now.”

Evidently the miracle came in one form or another because the surgery was successful even though Liz’s body keeps trying to reject Aaron’s kidney. The battle continues, the war is not over. In a recent note he commented that trials are difficult mostly because we don’t know when (or if) they will end. Then he added this thought: “Liz and I are beginning to appreciate Job. He kept getting sicker and sicker, yet he refused to curse God and die. (I’m working on a spoof piece dedicated to our choir entitled, ‘The More You Pray, the Sicker We Get.’) Trials are not about time. They are not about double blessings you might get if you endure like Job did. (If Job had bugged out one day early, would he have received anything from God? How many Christians bug out of their college/business/marriage one day early?) Trials are about God. Illness happens because life happens. So you’re having a bad year. So!! Who’s in charge?”

“Trials are about God.” What a good thought that is. God is large and in charge. He sees what is hidden to us. We have chosen to believe even when we cannot see, and in that faith we find the strength to face each new day.

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