Evan belongs to some of my great friends in Athens, Nolia and Brian. I actually remember the day Evan was born. Not too hard- he’s only 6. But I remember as I was driving out of town to head back to Marietta for Thanksgiving and I was late getting to Mama’s house. But I had to swing by St. Mary’s Hospital. It was unseasonably warm- I was wearing flip-flops. Nolia looked beautiful and I couldn’t believe that Evan was finally here. He was a good lookin’ dude from day 1.
This family is really important to me- they are the first family I ever babysat for in Athens. I still have in my house a wall decoration that Nolia gave me off her wall- “You like it? Just take it. I’ll find another one.” My dear friend Eve married into them. I can truly say they loved me, and continue to love me, like I am one of their own. I could just show up on their doorstep tomorrow and they wouldn’t blink an eye- feed me, house me, pray for me, laugh with me, whatever I needed. They are part of a small group of families in Athens who decided that the college women of St. James UMC could live life with them. I thank God I was one of those women.
There is no way on Earth to repay this family, or any of the others. And see, I could go on and on about them, about the Chittoms, the Tomlins, the Coles, the Gaultneys, the Kirsches, the Rivers. They are each just another family to you. But they are essential pieces to the puzzle of me.
And Evan? He’s just another kid. But today he, and all who love him, found out that he has leukemia. Just another kid … with cancer.
I laid awake last night until almost 2am. My spirit crying out, in full unrest, for Brian and Nolia. For Evan’s body. For his brother Mark and his sister Mary Ford. For Eve and Gerald and the family as they are ministers of hope. Begging God. For anything.
And though, as I said, there is no way I can ever repay these families, I can do this. I can ask you to pray.
I know he’s just another kid to you. I see these posts all the time too (which is a sad testimony in itself, isn’t it?). I read them, toss up a prayer, and then move on to the next blog. I understand.
Just please pray. Every prayer makes a difference in the heavens and in the hearts of these people. This family is being faithful to seek God, seek prayer, and surround themselves with scripture. As one who loves this family, I want to be faithful in that as well by asking you to join me to pray for this sweet little guy.
Pray for HEALING. For peace. For sleep (for Nolia and Brian as well as Evan). For finances. For safe travel between Athens and Atlanta. For hope.
Pray this scripture with us: Psalm 27
“I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.”