Mike Cope's blog

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

To become a parent is to become vulnerable. Vulnerable to colds and to diseases and to "nobody likes me" and to broken bones and to decisions and to decisions of young friends and to automobiles. It means praying until you're all prayed out. It means waiting to hear the front door open in the early days of driving. It means waiting for the phone call saying "we made it." It means hoping for all you're worth that faith -- deep, give-it-all-up-to-follow-him faith -- catches on. Deep love means vulnerability. It's part of the deal. God knows that, doesn't he? - - - - As Yogi Berra would say, we've experienced deja vu all over again. So much has happened that's taken us back to our Megan days: the treatment at Hendrick's emergency room, the medical flight to Ft. Worth, the intubation, the extended stay at Cook's. And now, once again, we're back under the AISD special education program. I always thought of that as a euphemism for helping people like Megan who are mentally handicapped. But I'm finding out it is over all SPECIAL education. And since Chris is going to be out for quite a while, apparently, he qualifies for the homebound program. AISD will send a teacher to our home. - - - - We've been really blessed this week to have Diane's sister from Tennessee, Donna Jo Meeks, and her daughter, Hannah (13), here. Donna has been our gourmet cook, our traffic cop with the phone, and a calming voice. Hannah has been Chris's buddy--especially on those days when everyone from here has to go to school. After a day of playing games, last night they watched "Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid" for the first time. Doesn't everyone remember where they were when they saw it for the first time? (I do -- because it was such a great film. Diane does -- because of Robert Redford.) Another highlight in the last couple days was when Scott and Chris Perkins brought over a tape of our basketball game from Saturday. I went to the game to help Scott coach, but it was hard without Chris C. out there. Hopefully, he'll be able to attend the rest of our games in his wheelchair. (Again, it's up to the pediatric BONE GUY on Thursday.) Yesterday was shower day, which is a major event when you're dealing with a back brace. We've been blessed once again by the loving care of one of our elders, Rex Nutt, who has often been recognized as one of the best physical therapists in Texas. It gives us a lot of assurance to have him here when the brace comes off. - - - - Soon I'll quit blogging about this all the time. I'll get back to the other stuff I'm passionate about--like community, discipleship, parenting, and guacamole. Thanks for listening and for praying, my friends. Especially keep praying for the Bourland family as they continue on the long journey of grief for their precious son.


  • Brother Mike,

    In no way I want to place your past blogs in a sub-category, but what I have been able to read and experience as part of the body at Highland has truly shown me what "community, discipleship, parenting, and (even) guacamole" are. I have come to know more about my own relationships with others and the areas of my heart that are often too hidden to see. I appreciate your honesty and the depths to which you have shared throughout the time I have been apart of Highland, but especially these past two weeks. Continued blessings to you and your family, as well as the others who have been most touched by these events.

    In Christ-
    Donald Philip Simpson

    By Blogger Donald Philip Simpson, at 2/01/2005 05:15:00 AM  

  • Mike,

    I don't think any of us would ask you to apologize for being a devoted father. There are small nuggets of God's truth that have a much broader impact than parenting in what you have been writing lately. Thank you for being honest and writing about the things on your heart. Too often people ignore those because they do not think they will make a difference to others.

    By Blogger Justin, at 2/01/2005 05:16:00 AM  

  • A vulnerable Father's love is what binds all of us together.

    Father, I pray that we will love as you love. Shameless and boldly, not holding back for fear of being hurt. Please heal our hurts and calm our fears in our knowledge that your love is perfect.

    By Blogger Steve Duer, at 2/01/2005 05:26:00 AM  

  • Your life continues to be a powerful testimony of "what God has brought me through." This morning the phrase came to mind, "write from the heart." I guess you could say that your blog is "right from the heart" of Mike Cope. Theological journalism at its best.

    Thank you for sharing your journey my friend. Sometimes I recognize the terrain, other times it makes me appreciate places I have never been.

    Our prayers continue for all.

    By Blogger David Michael, at 2/01/2005 05:29:00 AM  

  • Please don't feel like you need to "get back to" your regular topics. You really haven't left at all. Everything you've been saying these past few weeks has been just as relevant as anything else you've posted.

    Praying for a swift and full recovery.

    By Blogger Karen, at 2/01/2005 05:55:00 AM  

  • My family has also had experience with AISD's homebound program. It was a Godsend when my brother was incapacitated.

    Give Chris our love. Thanking God for Chris's measure of recover and praying for continuing progress.

    By Blogger Serena Voss, at 2/01/2005 06:13:00 AM  

  • Mike, as I have watched the events of you life unfold over the last couple of weeks there is one thing that just keeps coming back to me, and that is how quickly our whole world can turn on a dime. I went back and checked the entry just before the accident. You were writing about coffee. Our hold on this world is so tenuous. I think that sharing your experiences has probably ministered to people in ways you will never know this side of eternity. Grace and peace.


    By Blogger RC, at 2/01/2005 06:56:00 AM  

  • Mike
    After reading today's post it took me back about 10 years. It was several months after Megan's death and you shared a letter with the congregation. One that brought a communal gasp of horror. As I remember (and that can be flawed this far down the road) it was an anonymous letter saying that you need to stop preaching your grief and deal with it privately. That moment has stayed with me all this time. I would encourage you today like then to ignore such ridiculous notions and allow us to experience the work of God along with you as you share from your heart and mind. It is these moments of gut level honesty and reality where we come face to face with our faith and have to discern like never before. After my Mom's death 2 years ago and 3 years of caring for her in my home (and my Dad's death over 25 years ago now) my faith stood up to the tough questions and the impolite ones. And that is something to celebrate! Don't apologize and try to get back to other blogs, your gracious hospitality to us in this situation is teaching us all. Thanks.

    By Blogger Arlene Kasselman, at 2/01/2005 07:30:00 AM  

  • Mike,
    I echo all of the comments. It is hard to express how much I have been blessed by your blogs pre and post accident. To me it never changed. I have been able to walk down the road of life with you and get the chance to share in it all. The fear, the fun, the pain, the passion. Life is full of coffee and car accidents. They mesh together to fit the full picture of our life. One without the other is meaningless. I would never prefer my life without its bumps, and big gaping holes. Although we wish the families didn't have to go through this tragedy, we are blessed in being able to learn from them, and see God's amazing hand at work.

    Keep talking.. thats all we ask.
    God bless and thank you for sharing with us.
    Phyllis Chill

    By Blogger Phyllistene, at 2/01/2005 07:46:00 AM  

  • Remember that old quote that when we choose to have children, we choose to forever have our hearts walking outside our bodies--so glad things have settled down and Chris is better. Love to all of you. Judy Thomas

    By Blogger judy thomas, at 2/01/2005 08:11:00 AM  

  • I find myself clinching fists as Arlene mentions that letter. Mike your writing or speaking of the effects on your life reminds me of "Chariots of Fire" and the NEED to run. God works through you even in these hard times to help us see him. I get a theophony (hope I spelled that right) through you last few weeks of blogs. (I have been wanting to use that word). If you went right back to the other subjects, I would quit reading and put you along side others that lack authenticity, you would be in my mind another fake. Thanks for being real, for being a good father, for being an example, for teaching even in your pain, for sharing your vulnerability.

    By Blogger TCS, at 2/01/2005 08:15:00 AM  

  • I need real people to grieve out loud. Why? Because that is what I want to do when I experience it. At the same time, I am unlikely to create that path for myself unless I know that is even a path that can be created. I don't need to walk someone else's path (not usually), but I need to know a path can be made.

    Leaders do that. They make paths in places where most everyone thought there was no way to go. They show others how to make paths where there appears to be no way to go.

    Mike, thanks for making pathways for people to walk on, but even more importantly, thanks for showing how to make a pathway.

    By Blogger Fajita, at 2/01/2005 08:24:00 AM  

  • It's been 15 years, Mike, since you sat in our hospital room with Joshua. Your comments, prayers, and even laughter have been cherished all of these years. I think back to 30+ years ago when you were our counselor at Green Valley Bible Camp in Rogers, Arkansas. Your ministry to a bunch of teenage boys was Christ-like. Dressed in your bell-bottom blue jeans, t-shirt, full head of curly black hair, and a guitar you showed us by your example what it was like to minister to others. Though some of the above things have changed, your ministry to others have been experienced by many people. May God heal every portion of those involved in this tragic accident. Our prayers are with each of you.

    By Blogger Michael B. Wood, at 2/01/2005 08:53:00 AM  

  • If you were to go back to "normal" postings and not give us “the Chris update” or glimpses into your lives right now, I would be really disappointed. I know that there is no "normal" for you right now so why try to post “normal” blogs? Even though some of these same things happened with Megan, this is different and it is no where near normal for any of you.
    Watching you go through all you did with Megan touched and changed me. I am a better person because of all your sweet family went through. Same holds true now. Your posts these last weeks have been a daily reminder of the really important things in life.
    I have also been so touched by the comments like those from a solider in Iraq, the firefighter from San Angelo, the mother who lost a child last year... I truly believe God uses your post here to minister to people. People you may never know. He uses your authentic life to touch others. I love this blog because it is so authentically you. Keep it up, PLEASE!
    Since I can no longer be there to answer the phone;), I just keep praying, praying, praying that Chris will recover as quickly as possible. You guys our in our hearts and prayers daily! Stephanie

    By Blogger SG, at 2/01/2005 09:02:00 AM  

  • So you like to blog about community, discipleship, parenting, and guacamole? Mike, you're nailing all of those in these posts. Ok, so maybe not much mention of guacamole, but still, everything in the stories points to deeper community, more devoted discipleship, and a beautiful picture of parenting. Besides, maybe this blog is a place for you to open up and share. Thanks for being vulnerable.

    By Blogger Jon, at 2/01/2005 10:57:00 AM  

  • Jerry Jones spoke today at chapel here at Harding. He told of his wife, Claudette, telling him just before she died of cancer in '94, "If good things happen to good people, and bad things happen to bad people, we'd all be good, but for the wrong reason". He then repeated it, for emphasis, and she was right. I hope the Bourland family is able to truly grasp that, as well as all the others impacted. I'm so glad that you have allowed us all to be a part of your processing, and to share the grief and feel as if we have been able to minister in a small way. Please continue.

    By Blogger don, at 2/01/2005 11:49:00 AM  

  • Mike, there are a lot of us in Fresno who were impacted by your absence during the ZOE conference. We were--and still are--in deep prayer for all of the families who were affected by the accident. And while time and distance mean nothing to God, they make a big difference to us earth-bound mortals. So your updates have meant a great deal to those of us who are so far away, but are thinking of you daily.

    Thank you for keeping us informed. Thank you for allowing us to "be there" with you and your family throughout the trial. And thank you for helping us to stay in touch with God's will, God's plan, and God's perfect pace.


    By Blogger Thurman8er, at 2/01/2005 12:30:00 PM  

  • Mike,

    You have been vulnerable enough to open up a door into your heart, your thoughts and your family, and it has been a true blessing. I look forward to getting on here every day and reading what you have to share. You ARE and have been sharing your passions with us through what is taking place within your family and the community surrounding you. You are ministering through this...RIGHT HERE and RIGHT NOW...probably more than you will ever know.

    Thanks for sharing-please continue-we'll continue to listen and to pray...and May God continue to guide His hand over your precious son, the Bourland's and everyone else who is on the road to recovery-God is faithful...

    By Blogger Katherine, at 2/01/2005 02:17:00 PM  

  • Dear Mike,
    As I read your blog each day, I, as a parent, and a Christian, can only imagine the agony your family has endured. We do become subjective, when we become parents, and things do not always go according to OUR plan. A risk we are willing to take, but not one without pain and agony. I am proud of you, and the Bourland's for maintaining such dignity in this trying time, my heart breaks for you, and all of the families involved. I was so proud of Rob for doing such a special celebration of life, for such a special little guy. As a mother, my life has changed, and there were moments at Brody's funeral that were so profound, with all the people in attendance, you could have heard a pin drop, but for the weeping. Carry on Mike, we all love and support you, take the time you need, and know there are those of us that cherish and are uplifted by you sharing your tragedy. God Bless, Linda

    By Blogger Linda, at 2/01/2005 06:45:00 PM  

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