I believe it would be appropriate to continue Jessica's Hope in order to update about Little Jessica. She is the extension and the result of my late Wife's hope. On February 6, 2011 "Little Jessi" was born via C-section after Jessica became brain dead. She weighed 1 lbs 3 oz. She has remained in fairly stable condition for the past twelve days. She has had some breathing trouble, but that is typical of very premature babies. This past Monday, I was privileged to hold her outside the incubater for about half an hour. It was amazing. Please pray that our gracious God continues to honor my Wife's sacrifice by watching closely over our child and guarding her health. No matter what happens, may He continue to be thanked because his steadfast love never ends. Every day I read part of a psalm for Lil' Jessi in prayer:
"For You, O Lord, are my hope, my trust, O LORD from my youth. Upon You I have leaned from before my birth; You are He who took me from my mother's womb. My praise is continually of You." Psalm 71:5-6.
There are many suffering people with spouses who have died and babies who are premature. My family is not alone, nor have we suffered anything unusual -- though that fact does not dull the pain. So please take Jessica's and Jessi's story and go pray with, encourage, support financially, or find some way to show these hurting people the love of Jesus. My family is only one out of thousands that are struggling. Do not feel sorry for people; that is a natural human response, but it does little good. Rather, have compassion on others; compassion is what moved Jesus to action. Non-christians can feel sorry for anyone, but it takes the Spirit of God to work with compassion. Compassion is a God-given ability to sacrifice yourself or something of personal value in order to show God's love to a person in need; it is choosing to love by action. When Jesus saw the crowds, He was moved with compassion because they were scattered like sheep without a shepherd. But instead of getting much needed rest, eating something himself or going off to pray, Jesus chose to meet the crowd's needs. Similarly, Jesus did not want to die for us, but compassion drove Him to the cross. He even asked His Father to let the cup (of suffering through becoming sin, the physical pain, etc.) pass from Him. But He still submitted to God's will. In the same way, Brothers and Sisters, submit to the Spirit's push to compassion within you, forget yourself and help others. Pray for compassion. May all who read this bear much fruit.