“But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.” ~II Corinthians 4:7~
Why do we love stories like The Frog Prince and Beauty and the Beast? Because in the midst of our shallow, looks-obsessed culture, something deep down in our hearts calls out to remind us that a person’s true beauty is hidden inside. We would know this if only we trained our eyes to see past the outward shell and focus on what lasts for eternity.
Megan’s Secrets, by Mike Cope, tells the story of an incredible soul named Megan, who came to the world in the type of physical body many would overlook. Megan was born with a rare genetic syndrome, which left her mentally disabled and gave her an asymmetrical face and growing weaknesses in her kidney, heart, and lungs. She blessed her family for ten years.
Reading Mike’s tender description of Megan’s short life and incredible impact on those around her was a heartbreaking and beautiful experience. For many adults, Megan challenged their materialism, anger, hunger for power, and lack of concern for others. Meeting Megan and Mike through the pages of this book inspired me to take a deeper look at the folks around me and try to see them for who they really are.
Here’s a small taste of Mike’s testimony to his cherished daughter: “Megan’s simple-yet-profound life taught us that God is a heart specialist who looks deeper than accidents of birth.
On the day she died, Diane and I were leaning over her praying for her, telling her we loved her, and assuring her it was all right to go . . . The moment she took her last breath in the pediatric intensive care unit, my mother stood up from her chair behind us and began singing Megan’s favorite song:
I may never march in the infantry,
Ride in the cavalry,
Shoot the artillery.
I may never fly o’er the enemy,
But I’m in the Lord’s army.
Later it hit me. Megan had been preparing us her whole life with her simple little song. It’s like she’d been telling us that there were many things she’d never do, but we shouldn’t worry, because she’s in the Lord’s army. There’s a little grave outside Abilene that bears her name, the dates of her abbreviated life, and then the words, ‘I’m in the Lord’s army.’
This tiny minister taught me more than I learned in ninety hours of graduate school. She taught me that God will use my brokenness to His glory. She reminded me that the power is God’s, not mine. She made me remember that we are often fascinated with things that may be impressive from the outside but which may not be that important to God. She taught me that what really matters has to do with the heart: keeping promises, seeking justice in a brutal world, learning to see those in greatest need, and living with courage, joy, and unconditional love.”
Mike shares four major secrets on which he elaborates with Bible teaching, others’ personal stories of love and loss, and quotes from great thinkers. What are Megan’s secrets?
- God is a heart specialist
- Weak is the new strong
- Life together is our only hope
- The end is not the end
Then Mike leaves us with this beautiful poem by John O’Donohue
~On the Death of the Beloved~
Though we need to weep your loss,
You dwell in that safe place in our hearts
Where no storm or night or pain can reach you.
Your love was like the dawn
Brightening our lives . . .
Whatever you enfolded in your gaze
Quickened in the joy of its being;
You place smiles like flowers
On the altar of the heart . . .
Though we cannot see you with outward eyes,
We know our soul’s gaze is upon your face,
Smiling back at us from within everything
To which we bring our best refinement . . .
May you continue to inspire us:
To enter each day with a generous heart.
To serve the call of courage and love
Until we see your beautiful face again
In that land where there is no separation,
Where all tears will be wiped from our mind,
And where we will never lose you again.
If you have suffered a terrible grief, lost your first love for the folks who people your world, said good-bye to cherished dreams, or know someone who has, this book can offer inspiration and healing balm. Follow this link to purchase Megan’s story. ***Thanks to the B&B Media Group for providing my review copy.
Giveaway: Since I’ll be leaving for the ACFW Conference Wednesday morning, I’m planning for this to be my last September Giveaway Post. At the end of September, I’m giving away a $10 Amazon Gift Card. If you leave a comment on this post, I’ll enter you in the giveaway one more time. If things go well at the conference, maybe I’ll give away two gift cards