Saturday, April 30, 2011

Praying for the Stams

This is Chip Stam -- someone very dear to our family.  Over 4 years ago, He roped us into singing in the choir at Clifton before we were even members, and became one of our very favorite people at our new church -- or even in the world! 

Chip has had cancer since the summer of 2007.  I will never forget that week of VBS when his Doris suddenly had to step away from teaching her class (Josh and I took it over) because of Chip's diagnosis and hospitalization.  I have never witnessed someone suffering first hand like this, for so long, with such true strength from Christ.  Who could forget Chip's antics?  He wore a back brace for a time, and would keep time in choir practice with the velcro straps -- I can see him now,  "rip-ripping" it and stomping his brown Crocs in beat to the music.  I remember Chip coming into the bookstore while I was working to inquire about a piece of music or something and while standing and talking to me, handing me handfuls of his hair to throw away for him that he was losing to chemo.  And I'm sure we cracked up about it! 

Every person who has known Chip would say he is one in a million.  So upbeat, so joyful, so gifted.  My life has TRULY changed from knowing him, and being in the services where he led the music.  We love Chip, and our hearts break to think of him being taken from us.  I pray for him and his family every night when I put Susie to bed -- that the Lord would give Susie a good night's sleep, and that he would also give Chip and Doris and Clara a good night's sleep; to be able to lie down and trust God and rest.  I do not know how many more days Chip has before he will enter the TRUE rest, and be taken home to his eternal reward, but for his family I continue to pray. 

I could never summarize all that Chip has meant to us, but I needed to write about him, because he is so present on my heart.  I pray that the Lord will be a gentle Shepherd and carry him and his family forever.


Rachel said...

Tearful amen, Gret. Especially about changing lives. Changed how I thought about joy. Thanks for posting.

Rachel B

Emma said...

A truly beautiful post. Made me cry. I remember him tapping with a pencil on his brace so that it click clicked to the music. He swindled me into the choir as well! :) What a joyful man!