Her husband, Jay, had 45 minutes to zip home for lunch between law school finals. The Pacific ocean in Malibu, visible from their home on the campus of Pepperdine University, was a daily reminder that God was good. Add to that the cooing of their healthy 6-month old bouncing baby boy, and you could say that life was going according to plan. That all changed.

Yesterday at church, Loretta and I sat and listened to the testimony of Katherine and Jay Wolf, authors of "Hope Heals" - the latest bestseller that has rocked our souls. 

Jay hadn't been home but for a few minutes when Katherine, feeling woozy and in a fog, found herself on her knees and sick to her stomach. Punctual paramedics determined her vitals were normal, but "normal" wasn't anywhere close to the truth. Katherine lost consciousness and woke up 2 months later and spent the next 40 days on life support. Fed by a tube in her stomach, she wouldn't swallow for nearly two years.

This week, we will explore the idea of "suffering." 

"If you need a reminder that things aren't that bad, just head down to your nearest brain rehab center for perspective," says Katherine with a sense of humor that somehow seems misplaced - as if she's listening to a joke nobody else can hear and with a joy and peace set apart for angels. From her wheelchair, with half her face paralyzed and a hand that doesn't respond like the other, Katherine Wolf, along with her adoring husband, showed us what hope looks like when tested. With every round of applause Katherine received during her speech yesterday, she'd just smile, deny the attention and point up to God. She says that's where hope can be found.

Well, during their message, they showed a number of images from her time in intensive care, post-op and rehab, but one shot in particular stood out to me. In the corner of the room, the green letters across the heart monitor faintly read, "Standby."

Now, I doubt anyone noticed, but for me, if there was a doubt that this sweet soul with a brain stem stroke was about to change lives, the life detector announced it: Standby. Just standby, and watch God do His work.

- jimmy peña

For Discussion:
Say "amen" if you know a survivor.
Say "amen" if God allowed you to be one.