Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends.

This is a story of two brothers, Chad and Ryan. Raised in a Christian home, as adults they both truly lived out their faith in Jesus Christ. Each was married with a wonderful wife and sweet little children (Chad-two kids, Ryan-three).

Chad suffered from liver disease and was lately in the final stages of the disease. Ryan was his perfectly healthy younger brother.

Chad was placed on the list for organ donation and Ryan selflessly offered part of his own liver to save his brother's life.
Surgeries were scheduled for the morning of July 29. Chad's diseased liver was to be removed completely. 60% of Ryan's liver was to be removed from him and given to his brother.

On the evening of July 28th, the families gathered together at Chad's house to pray, laugh and share communion together. The next morning they headed in to the hospital early to get started.

All went seemingly well with the surgeries.
Chad's body immediately accepted his brother's liver and started the healing process. Color came back into Chad's face and by the next day he was already up and walking around the hospital.

Ryan's body was weary after the surgery. He was in pain (which was considered normal, given the surgery he had just undergone) and had trouble sleeping.

Sometime during the night of July 31, Ryan went "code blue" and had to be resuscitated. He spent the next days on life support while doctors tried to determine if he still exhibited any brain activity and the family rallied around and called for prayer support.
Ryan was removed from life-support on the evening of August 2, 2010.

John 15:13 says, "Greater love has no one than this, that he lay down his life for his friends."

I don't know that I've ever seen a more clear example of this passage (with the exception of Jesus himself) lived out on Earth.

(This is a picture of Ryan.)
Chad is a good friend of ours. He held Sam up during a particularly difficult time in his life and spent time at our house while doing some contract work here in Texas. He is very dear to our family.

Will you join us in prayer for Chad and his family? He has just lost his brother in a most tragic way, and yet still must find the courage to continue healing and LIVING. Please pray for Ryan's wife Shannon and their three kids as they navigate a life drastically changed by Ryan's sacrificial gift to his brother. Also their parents, siblings, and other family members who are all dealing with the loss of a loved one.

(This is Chad with our son Jonah.)
Chad asked the following to be posted on the caring bridge website after the surgery:

God made my life complete
when I placed all the pieces before Him.
When I got my act together,
He gave me a fresh start.
Now I'm alert to God's ways;
I don't take God for granted.
Every day I review the ways He works;
I try not to miss a trick.
I feel put back together,
and I'm watching my step.
God rewrote the text of my life
when I opened the book of my heart to His eyes.
- Psam 118, MSG


Heidi Jo said...

lisa my heart aches for them. i grew up around the arnold families, and know that no greater source of love and strength could be found outside of God himself....but it just feels so wrong.

Shanygne said...

When I found out yesterday, I literally broke... crying as if a member of MY family had passed. And I guess he was... I didn't know him personally but Chad, Cristine, Rod and Michelle mean so much to us that it was like I felt a bit of their pain.

Thank you for posting this, Lisa! our hearts and prayers will continue to be with them for a long time to come.

~Ginger said...

Thanks for sharing Lisa. This has been a really rough blow even for those of us that only know the family through others. Of course I've connected with many through blogging and even Shannon for a short time.

We know we have a BIG God and we continue to lift this family up before Him and pray for Chad's healing as well!

Jennifer said...

there are no words to say....praying for all involved right now!

Kate B said...

Oh, thank you for posting this. I don't know of a better earthly example of Christ's love either. What love, indeed.

in_his_footprints said...

Thank you for posting this. I loved the family's request on their blog to tell people about Ryan's story. I too have never heard of a better example (other than Christ) of the love descibed in John 15. Your post brought me to tears again.

Marybeth said...

What a beautifully stated tribute, Lisa. Thanks for posting this. We continue to pray for all the Arnold family during this most difficult time.

Journey said...

Praying for this family and also you guys. Love ya, friend :) Beth

Jen said...

Lisa this is great! I love reading the tributes to Ryan. I got to know him when my husband, who was a 1st cousin to Ryan, and I started dating. When we got married Ryan was one of our groomsmen and we just loved him and Shannon. Shannon actually did some of the photography for our wedding. I still can't wrap my mind around it but I know everything is in God's plan and we will all be dancing in Heaven together someday.

Joan said...

Oh my, Lisa. I'm praying for this family.


Beth said...

So beautifully said, Lisa. We continue to pray for all of them.