This is Florence Marigold.
She is two. And darling. And very sick.
This is Steve Stern.
He is 52. And wonderful. And also very sick.
Steve has ALS and Flo has SMA, which is sometimes called “Baby ALS” – and if there was ever a term (and disease) that should not exist, it’s that one.
I met Flo through her mom, Michaela’s, blog. Michaela and her husband are people of great faith, enduring an unimaginable storm. Michaela writes like the wind – her words roll over and under and through with a graceful beauty that packs a gale-force punch. I recently told Michaela that I wish Steve could meet Florence (he already loves her through her pictures and her mom’s words.) He couldn’t hold her, but he would try to sing to her. He would pray over her and tears would roll wild and he would believe for her. They are sojourners, Steve and Flo, traveling together through the worst diagnosis and held together by the best God. They each reflect Him in breathtaking ways.
I’m sharing this today for two reasons. The first one is: read Michaela’s blog. It’s just beautiful. The second one is: would you join Steve and I in praying for this family as they walk the soil of the Shadowlands and also welcome a new baby in just a few weeks? If prayer makes a difference, and I’m certain it does (I’m proof that it does!), then this is worthy place to invest.
And finally, a letter to Florence from Team Stern>>
Dear, darling Flo,
Do you know how beautiful you are? Your life pulsates hope. Our prayers for you are many and brazen. They are storm-the-gates, rescue-the-damsel sorts of prayers. And they are also beauty-from-ashes and joy-from-sorrow prayers. You are so little to take your place among the soldiers fighting a neuromuscular Goliath, but you are not overmatched. The God of David is the God of Flo.
We pray for your heart and your hands and your hope. We pray that you feel defended and loved every minute of your life. We pray that Jesus Himself visits your dreams and gives you peace and rest and joy beyond reason.
You are a miracle. Though we are far away, our feet share the same battlefield and we are joined at the heart.
With all our love,
Steve & Bo
P.S. Can you just take a second and look at the pictures of Steve and Florence? Those smiles just make me so happy and challenge me to smile, too. That’s all.