'F' as in Frank

Turning a valley into a mountain

There are some weeks when I don't know what to write in this column.

Then there are those times when so much has happened I don't know where to begin.

So, I guess, let's go back to the beginning of last week. Last Monday, to be exact.

Joni's face had turned yellow and she had intense pain in her abdomen. We rushed her to the doctor last Monday and, after spending most of the day in the hospital lab, we found out there was nothing that could be done for her in Sunnyside.

So we rushed to Yakima in tearful frustration, knowing we would have to, in some respects, start all over again with doctors and nurses we didn't know.

Later that Monday night, Joni was being treated in an emergency room station with preliminary measures to prepare her for what would become a three-day hospital stay to remove a gall stone that was causing problems.

As low and as helpless a feeling as I had then, God in that very same moment created a mountain-top experience with a simple phone call.

An answer to prayer three months in coming, I received a call that night letting me know I would be the associate pastor at Grandview Christian Church.

It's a few hours a week-including organizing a junior church program on Sunday mornings-and it won't interfere with my work schedule with the Daily Sun News. But Joni and I are excited for me to be back in a ministry position.

As some of you may know, we were missionaries for five years and, before that, I was an associate pastor for a year.

C.S. Lewis wrote that man was created with a God-shaped void that only He could fill. I've had a ministry-shaped void, as well, since our mission to Hungary ended.

In case you're wondering, Joni came through her ordeal last week with flying colors, and next week will get her gall bladder taken out here in Sunnyside to nip any future problems.

So why did I share these two incredibly opposite high and low events that happened on the same day, in the same moment?

Well, besides it being a great testimony, there are a couple of reasons.

First, because so many are praying for Joni and have asked how she is doing (which she and I appreciate to no end).

Secondly, because as a reporter and, now as a part-time associate pastor, I feel a responsibility to be as transparent as possible with you, the reader. Just like we reporters expect of those in government and others in the public eye.

Actually, there's a third reason, too.

I've got my foibles. Sometimes I say things I wish I wouldn't say, or do things I wish I wouldn't do and I, like you, need a heaping helping of God's grace. Since you you know about my "other job" it convicts me to be even more accountable in my actions.

That doesn't mean I'll shy away from the tough stories, but I'll do so with a constant reminder that I'm representing far more than the Daily Sun News when I chase down those stories.

I'm representing the Creator of this Daily Planet we call home.


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