Saturday, April 26, 2008

The Privilege Of Relationship

Hello All,

As many of you have known, I have asked that prayers be made for our good friend Alan Brown, who has been suffering through a bout with a rare form of cancer. It's with some sadness that I announce that the prognosis has turned, and Alan now has days, maybe weeks, to settle his affairs here on earth, and then to relocate to Christ's side. It has been a brutal 5 month process of chemotherapy and treatments that no human should have to endure, only to realize that there is no cure for this cancer. The Lord will heal in the ultimate way.

Tonight, Lela and I had the privilege of leading a group of friends into worship. This group began the process with Alan and Annette back in early January, and has been by their side throughout the entire ordeal. Now, in a fitting tribute, we all sat together and sang songs to Jesus together.

As is always the case, there was laughter and joy, but there was also a depth of understanding and relationship that can only come from experience and love. Most of the people in this room have known us for more than a decade, and in fact, two were my Junior High students some years back. That warmth and friendship was so palpable, and I realized what a privilege it was to sit there and lead this group into a place of communion with the Lord on this night.

It was peculiar in one sense, seeing that I have rarely touched my guitar since I have been back in the states. I had been trying to think of what to play and trying to remember the chords to certain songs. But when we sat there together, it all came flooding back as though no time had passed since the last time I led worship.

We flowed from one song to another, singing about God's faithfulness, His greatness and His holiness. At one point, we sat silent and just basked in the presence of the Lord. I looked up and saw and felt that familiar awe that settles over a group of people when the Spirit touches lives, and moves in power in our midst. His work of reminding His people of His own greatness and sovereignty, through the medium of musical expression, amazes me time and time again.

Afterward, Alan, Annette and Lela, Leah and I, sat together to plan Alan's memorial service. Talk about surreal. Here is a man that I remember dropping off his daughters at Youth Group, or grilling up a few choice pieces of meat, laughing gustily all the way, talking about his own memorial! What a privilege it was to sit there, look Him in the eye, and promise that I would carry out his wishes. He can rest that I will make no bones about who His Savior is. His name is Jesus, by the way, the Christ, the unique Son of God, by whose stripes, we are healed and redeemed, whose life we live on earth and whose face we will stare into for eternity! For those who believe upon Jesus, there is this hope. That's Alan's destiny, and mine. I pray that at his memorial, others will join the roll.

I praise the Lord for moments like this. It's hard. That goes without saying. These moments of pain and suffering are difficult for any minister who cares about people, to endure. I suppose that is why some ministers innoculate themselves from having close relationships with people. In some respect, I don't blame them. But I would rather share in the grief and the pain, than lose the greatness of the fellowship that Lela and I participated in tonight. That was special and worth every ounce.

Blessings...To Our Friends,
Frank Sanchez

5 comments:

Jeff and Aimee: said...

Wow...

Jeff and Aimee: said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
steve & kindra said...

Thank you for sharing. I can't even imagine what that family is going through, but what a blessing to have you and Lela by their sides. I will be praying that the memorial service is all that he wants it to be.

mhcowen said...

Frank and Lela, We are blessed that you are there for them in this time. Mike was able to visit with Alan, finally and was encouraged by his peace...that could only come from the Lord. Talk about finishing the race well! Thank you for being there for them.

Frank & Lela said...

Thanks Steve/Kindra & Mike/Hannah & Jeff/Aimee, (though I am pretty sure it's Kindra, Hannah and Aimee!)

Sorry for the delay in answering. Our computer pulled the ol' "It's the big one Elizabeth" yesterday and was unable to respond.

I am glad to be there, as is Lela. I feel like we are just doing what any of you gals would do. My point was that it's a great privlege to have friends and be there in the good and the bad times. That part is an amazing blessing in this life.

Have a great week!

Blessings,
F.S.