If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal. If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing. Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.
And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.
It has been a stressful day of waiting. But now as I sit in her room a friend is gently rubbing her hands and I see how Andrea affects us all. There is something about her. I thought what is it that makes Andrea so special.
2 Corinthians 12:9 But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.
That is what you see when you walk into this room, God's strength in the frailty of Andrea's body. God's power perfected in Andrea's weakness. And it draws us in, those who are curious, and those who desire this strength that eludes so many. This strange display of strength is such an unexpected form. And in this God is reveled to us. You may ask, "Why is this happening to her? Where is God in all this suffering?" "If God loved us why do we suffer?" I see just the opposite I don't wonder where God is I look at Andrea and I see God's love. This is the closest I have been to understanding the depth of God's love for us. I feel Christ's compassion for Andrea knowing firsthand how He suffered. I feel His love for all of us who struggle with what is happening. Wanting to tell us it is okay, urging us to think eternally. To trust. God is calling all of us into a deeper relationship with Him. A relationship built on faith, faith born out of adversity. It draws us beyond ourselves to understand something seemingly cruel or unnecessary.
Andrea's greatest gift to all of us all is to help understand this love. In her acceptance of this cross we see a reflection of Christ's love for us.
This is why she suffers in silence, why Andrea she pours her life out before us. Her desire is that we all know the depth and expanse of God's love for each of us. She waits patiently for us to understand. Never attacking, never condescending, never judgmental. Always accepting. No matter where you are in your faith, Andrea's desire is that you grow.
This is Andrea's love for you. This is why she bears this cross. This is what draws us to this little giant. We want what she has even when we are scared to take that step of faith. Maybe deep inside ourselves we fear God will then ask us to go where Andrea is going. Maybe we fear we are not up to the task.