This woman carries her cross, as does her spouse, like nobody I’ve met recently. Renee Bondi was a presenter at the Christ Our Life Conference in Des Moines a couple weeks ago.
A gifted musician and dynamic woman, her life changed profoundly shortly after she was engaged, when an accident resulted in injuries leaving her quadriplegic. Thirty years later, she and the same fellow she was engaged to before the accident, Mike, gave a witness talk like few I’ve heard. My heart received a profound message of:
- Healthy Interdependence
- Feminine Genius
- Service – in Mike’s masculine genius
At a small group session Renee spoke of the network of helpers, all friends and volunteers, that enable her to manage daily life. One person in the group asked how she did that. She had a few answers, but one profoundly hit my heart, I paraphrase as well as I can recall her words, “I need to be the kind of person people enjoy being around. When I hear negativity in my own words, I need conversion.” The room was really quiet as she said that.
I heard Jesus in her words talking to me, too. Between her words and Mike’s fidelity, they hit it out of the park at that conference. Mike and Renee were able to have a son, born naturally, which surprised us all. Can you imagine Mike’s morning routine? Primary caregiver of his wife’s special needs AND a newborn! I’m recalculating what the word busy means in daily life. That’s a good man, married to a good woman. Daniel, their son, is now 20 some years old. He and his mother sang together beautifully to close their talk. A standing ovation followed. I think I clapped the loudest!
Do any of you remember the Barrios family of happy memory? They live in California now and Renee is the MUSIC TEACHER at their local Catholic School! Small world. Laura, tell Renee hello from me. There were only 5,000 of us at the conference; I’m sure she will remember me. I only bought one thing at the conference, Renee’s book, which she signed for us. I was the 243rd one in line, if that helps her remember.
It is good to take inspiration from the Lord where He sends it. Renee brought some to me, I hope I can pass a little of it along to you. Thanks, Renee. I’m praying for you. Let us all build the Kingdom and help one another love Jesus and each other well.