A cross-country love . . . the last Reed’s Run
I will be the first to admit that social networking has its pitfalls. I will stipulate that Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter can be huge time drainers. However, with eyes open wide to the pitfalls (of which I am prone) I also believe that my life has been enriched by the somewhat instantaneous connections with friends and family flung far and wide. I love relationships and that feeling of connection. I know it isn’t face to face conversation, and I agree cyber hugs pale in comparison to real embraces. Yet, I love that in the past few years I have reconnected with family and friends that I haven’t seen in person in many, many years.
Several of those relationships have evolved over the years to being some of my sweetest friendships. One of those sweet blessings is the deep friendship and adoration with our cousins in Washington. Long distance, we cheer each other on through all of life’s ups and downs. Our relationship has gotten so close that we have even started our own language, recently coining the term “Pray-paring” in relation to how we should get ready for anything life.
When we first announced registration for Reed’s Run 2012, these same cousins became the first to register, albeit with a twist. They were going to run the race remotely. We were open to the idea, and we happily mailed them their t-shirts. One of our cousins was so proud of her t-shirt; she immediately wore it to school the next day. (Again thankful for Facebook because that is where I saw the evidence.) They inspired a few more cousins and friends to do the same. Their willingness to participate (in whatever fashion) made our hearts soar.
The night of the run, my sweet Amy, penned us the following letter to tell of how they had spent the day and how the remote run went. She included all the pictures here.
It is with joy that I write to you to share about our Reed’s Run here in Washington.
It was like waiting for Christmas morning. The countdown began & quickly, day by day, it got closer. The questions began. “Where should we run?” “When should we leave?” “What do we wear?” Then the preparation began. We got our light sabers first. (We had to have them to bring the boy in Reed, the playfulness into our home.) We got Gatorade ~ like it would somehow fuel our feet. I think it was then that I realized I had “pray-pared” a lot more than I had prepared. My heart was ready – the love overflowing – the joy and excitement contagious, but preparing physically – not so much. Kayla hurt a tendon earlier in the week at drill practice & Sam came down with strep. We wanted to do it as a group so we walked most of it & I was glad we did.
I woke up Saturday morning to a grey sky & wet pavement. Evidence of rain. We have not had rain in about 2 months which, in Washington, is unheard of. That is when I knew it was going to be a great day. Courtney (Sam’s girlfriend) came early with donuts. You need carbs to run you know. J I asked the children to help me with our “numbers”. Because we weren’t in Minnesota, we decided to use the names of Reed, Emilee, Hunter, Jesse, and our flag as our race numbers.
We drove to Ruston Way. A beautiful and most important flat road next to Puget Sound. J It was 67 F and sunny. We prayed by Kelly’s truck as a group and started on our way. I was surprised by the number of people who stopped & asked us what we were walking for. (So I thank you with all my heart for the shirts). It was an honor to share about Reed’s Run with them & everyone was touched by Reed’s life & his story. We finished with tired feet but joy filled hearts. What a gift it is do something nice for someone else.
Kelly & I took a few pictures & are sending them to you and your family. We want you to have an idea where we were. We wanted to bring a part of us to you.
I know that this is the last Reed’s Run, but I hope that you realize because you allowed us to be a part of this – we are forever changed. We will now look for simple ways to bring God into others’ lives by showing others His love. And every time we pick up our light sabers we will remember Reed.
Memories are beautiful part of God’s love & we have a beautiful memory of our special Reed’s Run day.
Kelly, Amy, Sam, Courtney & Kayla
Those that know me know I was a puddle of tears after reading this letter. I still choke up reading it. Of the multitude of reasons is the fact that our cousins love us and Reed enough to want to be a part (even their own special way) of our day. But more so, they were an embodiment that Reed’s story (which is ultimately God’s story) has a far and reaching effect. From what seems so senseless this side of heaven, God is using in ways that we can only imagine.
This time He used our cousins to help us see His bigger picture.
Note – the emphasized words in Amy’s letter are mine. However, I truly believe that is the heart of healing. Realizing that God has a purpose for us and often that purpose is to serve others may just be the secret to healing broken hearts.