Most people don’t get excited about Mondays. The end of a relaxing weekend. The start of a grueling week. I used to be that way. Until Wayne. My dear friend changed all that.
Wayne fought the hard fight of ALS with strength and dignity and faith. Lots and lots of faith. When diagnosed in 2007, never would I have imagined the privilege awaiting me. The privilege of helping care for him. Mondays were my days. On Mondays we talked and prayed and read and laughed and cried and solved all the world’s problems. All in one day. We were amazing! Mondays will never be the same for me. I miss them. I miss Wayne.
Several weeks have passed since our last Monday together. On that Monday Wayne kept reassuring me it would be better soon. “Deb, it will be better soon.” On the outside the ravages of that dreaded disease were winning. Maybe so on the outside. But I knew better. Because for months and months I had Mondays. I had the perfect view to watch his faith grow to the depths. I heard his questions. I saw his praise. His sacrifice of praise. Wayne’s mantra was “always look up.” When circumstances make no sense. Look up. When people don’t understand. Look up. When darkness is all around. Always look up. What a beautiful definition of praise.
Our last conversation was over the phone. Days before Wayne would meet Jesus face to face. Days before our Monday. Wayne whispered he was doing well. He was lying. We both knew it. I begged God for words. He supplied some of His own.
O God, listen to my cry!
Hear my prayer!
From the ends of the earth,
I cry to you for help
when my heart is overwhelmed.
Lead me to the towering rock of safety,
for you are my safe refuge,
a fortress where my enemies cannot reach me.
Let me live forever in your sanctuary,
safe beneath the shelter of your wings!
For you have heard my vows, O God.
You have given me an inheritance reserved for those who fear your name…
May he reign under God’s protection forever.
May your unfailing love and faithfulness watch over him.
Then I will sing praises to your name forever
as I fulfill my vows each day. Ps 61 (NLT)
We could almost feel God’s touch on our cheeks. Turning our gaze heavenward. Looking up. Wayne cried. I cried. We cried together. I told him I loved him one last time. Three days later Wayne received his full, complete, lacking in nothing healing.
When the wave of missing hits me, I think of Wayne’s family, his children, his beautiful wife, Joy. I pray for comfort. I pray for courage to keep looking up. With a grateful heart I offer up praise in the missing.
Wayne, thank you for Mondays.