I am very pleased to announce a few things: first, I have a new public Facebook page! Please visit and Like, and that will let me interact with all of you much more freely and actively. My second announcement is much more impressive, and that is CBS Sunday Morning will be airing a feature on me and Peace Fellowship church this Sunday, sometime between 9:30 and 10 am EST. Ironically, I won’t be able to watch it live because I’ll be at church, as will many of my church-going friends! But I think this is actually a good thing because hopefully people who don’t usually attend church will see church in a new light, as a place where reconciliation and community thrive. That’s my hope and prayer…
But even before the show airs, I already know that there will be one person who will not be given nearly enough credit for her role, and that is my wife. She never gets enough credit for anything, mainly because she’s so quiet and thoughtful, and I’m so loud and thoughtless. But at every point in our story where it seems like I was doing something courageous, she was doing far more.
For instance, it was she who fought through triple negative breast cancer (the most aggressive form of breast cancer there is), all while pregnant with my son. It was she who endured morning sickness paired with nausea caused by chemotherapy. It was she whose blood count dropped so low that she would need transfusions. It was she who shaved off all her hair and bravely went out without a wig, without a scarf, unwilling to be cowed by the rude stares of passerby’s. What did I do? Welp, I washed dishes, did most of the driving, cried in the closet on occasion, but that’s it. Well, I too shaved my hair and went out in public, but that’s not really the same thing, is it.
And it was she who, after all of those struggles, gave birth to our third child naturally, without epidural of any kind. I myself told her that she had nothing to prove, that she had demonstrated beyond a shadow of a doubt her tremendous courage, and deserved to take it easy this one time. She refused, in that gentle but irresistible way that only she can, seeing it as a race that she wanted to finish. And so she did.
That’s all kinds of crazy.
Here’s another example – the second time our house was broken into, I developed a clinical case of fortress mentality. I slept by our front door at night, a baseball bat by the side of the couch. And “slept” is hardly the word for it – it was more “nervously startled at every sound”. I didn’t want to leave the house, for fear that someone was watching, waiting for us to leave so that they could break back in finish the job, and steal whatever they had missed the first time around. Carol looked at me and said, “I don’t want to live this way – let’s go to Costco.” And that was that, we opened the door and left, and went to Costco. Now, it wasn’t as if she hadn’t experienced what I had experienced – after all, it was her engagement ring the thieves had stolen (although they did take my Xbox, *SOB*). It was just that her response was so different, to let it slip off her shoulders, and go about living life has she had always done. Any courage that I displayed in that situation was not intrinsic, but inherited, directly from my wife. I freely admit this.
And it hardly ends there. Most people don’t know this, but before my wife and I got married, she was quite the global health superstar, trotting around the world to help set up health clinics in warzones. She was in Charles Taylor’s Liberia. She was in Afghanistan and Pakistan only months after 9/11. She’s been to Eritrea, Burundi. Her old passport looks like something out of Jason Bourne movie. And she may be some kind of super-spy in secret, it’s entirely possible. But that means she’s be letting me win in arm-wrestling on purpose…
But the point is that even before we got married, before she got sick, before I started at this church, she had been living a life of courage and devotion to the kingdom of God, a kingdom of peace and love for fellow human being. She is the bravest, most caring, most selfless person I have ever had the privilege of knowing. And if anyone deserves her own special on CBS Sunday Morning, it is Carol, not me. It’s strange and slightly embarrassing that they are choosing to focus on a neurotic pastor who has failed far more than he has succeeded at anything. And so until she gets the recognition she deserves, I’m going to continue to sing her praises every chance I get.