By: Laila Bare

“Surreal” is the word he keeps using.

Unbelievable that 5 weeks ago nothing was indicating that anything was wrong.


Now we’re past the testing. The diagnosis.  The surgery.  The hospital stay.

And living in a world different from one we’ve ever known.


So what are some of the differences about our lives today?

Always we have felt we were God’s and He was watching over us.

But now it’s very, very real.  

The feeling that we are in the palm of His hands---

Being carried along ever so gently.


So real. 

Yet surreal.

Surreal that this is happening.


Surreal that we are experiencing such an outpouring of love.

Calls, texts, e-mails, food, gifts – encouragement from all over the world.


As Joe Mirkovich, Bishop of Virginia, put it:  

“You have no idea how much you are loved.  

Everyone all over the state is asking about you. 

Everywhere we go.

 ‘How is Pastor Bare doing?  

Please tell him we love him and are praying for him. ‘ 

No idea, Doc, how much you are loved.”


Another difference today---

When we take our walks, 

I am now the one that has to slow down

And allow his pace to catch up to mine.

I don’t mind doing so.

He’s done it for me all these years!


But not only in walking--his total life pace has slowed down.

Though I see it returning bit by bit each day.

I praise God for each step along the way.

And for the fact that my oh-so-fast-moving husband

Now is coming to realize the value of sitting still.


Another difference—he’s home!

And I love having him here with me.

I watch him staring and wonder what he’s thinking.

Then later on—sometimes, much later on---

He shares it with me.

And it’s usually an insight from God.

Mostly concerning direction for us and for Covenant.


He realizes the value of listening to God in quiet moments.


But sometimes it culminates in another chapter of Trouble.

He’s begun Volume IV since being home.


Or a call to a friend with a word of direction.


A major change is that 

He’s learning to let some things go.

Always a take-action-now guy,

He now finds himself willing to leave some items undone 

or turn them over to others.


A favorite pastime we share during these hours together is music.

I play the piano.  He listens.

He has always wanted me to do this.

Now we have the time to do so.

At least a couple of times a day we play/listen for 45 minutes to an hour or so.


It helps me.  I’ve always been able to play out moods on the piano.

   And he’s always been able to tell when my mood changes.

   He so loves that!


While I’m playing, I watch him as he reads his Bible, 

e-mails friends, writes another chapter of Trouble,

or just sits and meditates with closed eyes.

Sometimes raising his hands in praise to God

Who is bringing us through all this.


We count this as very precious time that God has given us

To enjoy worship and praise to Him.

Alone in our own private sanctuary He’s provided.


Yes, the ministry continues.

Though it’s not in the form of a Sunday sermon.

Right now I’m listening to a call to someone.

“I have a word from the Lord for you.”

The man on the other end of the line is listening.

And responding.

God’s timing. 



We are experiencing THANKFULNESS and GRATITUDE like never before.

It’s now multiplied many times over.

To think that this cancer could have gone unrecognized for months

Until it had taken a hold allowing no remedy.


I’m trying to document the unfolding of this whole process.

But my head starts whizzing when I try to recount each 

Miraculous step along the way.

And I know I’ll never be able to tell it

As powerfully as we are living it.


It’s surreal being sheltered in the arms of God.

Robert McCready