The Passenger Log 6 Dec 2021
AUDIENCE with the QUEEN
The Passenger was notified this past week that on Saturday 4 December he was requested to present himself before the Queen of the Dalton Holiday Festival. Inasmuch as the Queen also happens to be The Passenger’s granddaughter and a co-traveler on her own journey, it was an honor to go. Here you will find photos of two items that her Majesty presented to The Passenger. It followed a very heart-warming and tear inducing talk about her love for me. The item you see pictured is a handcrafted section from a tree engraved with a copy of a recent photo The Passenger and his lovely Crew Captain, Karin, had taken. On the back of the engraved photo, Queen Ally hand engraved a note to me. I’m told the engraving tool gets very hot!! The woodcraft is beautiful and includes a passage from Isaiah 28
expressing God’s willingness to keep us in perfect peace. A wonderful reminder and a beautiful woodworking done by Lindsay I. Drumm. You can find more of her works at her FB site: Lindsay I. Drumm. Absolutely awesome work! I know of another great piece of artwork she did for someone close to me but since sometimes around birthdays and Christmas you have to keep secrets, I not say anything … you might even say… ‘I’ll save my breath!’ – I might need it later!
I strongly encourage you to check out Lindsay’s page, it is incredible.
Here is a part of Ally’s speech she made in front of about 80 people for which I am very proud. It was hard for her to say all this openly about her own disease and its effect on her; but, it may save a life.
One of the biggest things I learned through this is that no matter how hard it is to talk about it, if you are concerned something is wrong then you need to say something. My waiting made my disease much worse and took longer to recover from. So please talk to someone if you are concerned. And if you ever want to talk, feel free to reach out.
After that very difficult part of the speech, she shared about the walk she and I are taking together, her with her Colitis and me with the IPF. I am so touched by what she did that day… Here is what she said,
Lastly, many of you have met my Papaw as he has taken me to a couple of festivals/parades… Earlier this year, around the time of my diagnosis, my Papaw was diagnosed with a terminal illness, Pulmonary Fibrosis. This disease affects his lungs and does not have treatment or a cure. What happens is this disease hardens the lungs so he won’t be able to breathe. Without a miracle from God it’s likely this illness will take my Papaw to his heavenly home sooner than I would like. My Papaw and I are walking our new diagnosis/disease journeys together. He has come with me to many treatments and sat beside me when I was very sick. Today, I ask that each of you send up some prayers for him.
Ally, my Queen, my Ally-cat, then presented me with this t-shirt. To all of the family she gave shirts that show they are supporting the fight! We are also donning our IPF wristbands and the dressier ribbon pins to help get the word out.
The love which is pouring out by my family and so many friends and even folks I’ve never met is humbling. But there is one more thing that God and I have been talking about which is also very humbling… Having my mind spinning with these thoughts, one day I took a walk, again, down the corridors of the Starship GENESIS two-seven and as always, the Captain’s door was open. He immediately asked me to come in. I have to confess that going to talk to someone who already knows why you’re coming to see Him is very comforting!
The Passenger has had time to sit and consider that the only way I can expect to live long enough to see my grandchildren off to college or dance at their weddings or even just have more years than the doctors expect, it requires that someone who is alive and well, living their own life with friends and family, with dreams and aspirations for the future must do two things. They must consent to the harvesting of their organs upon their death – which you can do when you get your driver’s license renewed – get it marked as ‘DONOR’ – I’ve done that since I was sixteen (THAT is a long time ago!). I strongly encourage it!The second thing they have to do is die.
For me to live, someone else must die.
Sounds a lot like the Gospel doesn’t it? What a clearer understanding I have of Christ’s substitutionary atonement because now, unless a divine miracle occurs, which I completely believe can happen… I cannot live unless someone else, a very specific someone else, must die. Usually we say, ‘I need a lung transplant’ – it sounds so clinical. But if you think past the vernacular, we realize there is life and death attached to that transplant.
Does it sound strange that thinking about it, I feel selfish and a sense of guilt? Certainly I am not causing someone else to die to save me so the guilt is unfounded; but, when I hope that I will be able to receive new lungs, I can only get them from someone who has lost their life. I cannot find the words to tell you how very humbling that is. Whosever it may be, if it comes to that, I already have such overwhelming love for them and their willingness to share their life-giving donation that I long to embrace them and hold them in appreciation. Of course, I cannot do that because we have no idea who it might be.
Being in this position, I much better understand how helpless mankind is without Christ being willing to die for us. I cannot live unless someone else dies – every human is in the same boat (or starship) when it comes to our eternal life.
Remember what I wrote earlier about living like you are dying? What will it take for people to understand this sense of helplessness.
Thanks for spending some time with The Passenger. I’ll be posting again right after we see Dr. N on Dec. 14th. Praying for a report that helps us understand where we are and where we are headed.