by Rita Hoop
What is it that draws us, many of whom are perfect strangers to one another and the Divineys, to follow Ryan’s story and journey? For me, the Divineys were my neighbors. I knew of them but did not know them personally, as is the case more often than not in modern communities. But our kids knew one another. They grew up and went to school together – our older daughter in Ryan’s grade and our younger one in Kari’s. So Ryan was a friend of our family by extension. All I knew of him was that he was a great-looking, nice, funny, smart, athletic guy with lots of school spirit and friends. It seemed that everyone loved Ryan, including our daughter. He was never unkind to his peers or disrespectful to adults. How rare is that in a teen?
And then our kids went off to college, and the unthinkable happened to Ryan. Our entire community was shocked and immediately rallied around the Divineys in our hearts and minds, covering this family with our thoughts and prayers (whatever our individual beliefs or faith). If such a tragedy could befall them, it could happen to any of us or our children away from home. But those of us who were drawn to Ryan’s story and invested our emotions in his recovery – no matter how long it might take – were not motivated by fear, anger, or even sympathy. We are motivated – compelled – to walk alongside this family by love. Beyond the love and compassion of a friend or a parent who can empathize with their plight, it is a higher, spiritual love.You see, Team Diviney is not only “smart” and emotionally intelligent; it is spiritually awake. Our Spirit is alive and well, just like Ryan’s: a Spirit which can’t be quenched or silenced by any evil act; a Spirit which remains within us no matter how much our personal faith or beliefs are tested or compromised; a Spirit which connects us to one another and can never be taken away, or lose consciousness. Ryan has this Spirit, and it calls out to us. His family is absolutely defined by this Spirit of Love, and demonstrates it every day as a powerful example to all who follow their terrible journey – terrible, but beautiful too. No evil can prevail against it.
Because of this Spirit, we are driven to “serve one another in love”. We follow one simple command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” And the fruit of the Spirit is “LOVE, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control”. It’s that common Spirit of Love that binds us together and draws us to Ryan and his family. That Spirit opposes and cries out against the evil side of human nature, which acts with “hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy”. Because of the Spirit of Love, Team Diviney can’t help but rally around Ryan, and against the brutality inflicted upon him in hateful rage. And we are never going away, because that Spirit is eternal.
keds sneakers says
Hi Dear, are you in fact visiting this website daily, if so then you will without doubt get pleasant know-how.
Gail Doyle via Facebook says
Bill Dodson via Facebook says
Rita, Love shouldnt be Anonymous, that way its easier to return.
Beautiful entry. One of the many reasons I feel so fortunate and honored to be part of Ryan’s journey and HIS HEALING.
With love and in prayer,
Always, Forever and Until.
Keri, MY C.F. FRANKIE and Family
Gail Doyle says
And Keri ,Ryan and his family will always be glad you and Frankie are there rooting Ryan on. Prayers always for you, Frankie and Ryan. I am so blessed to know you all. Thank God Frankie is CF forever!!!!~
I, too, was a stranger until I was drawn by God to insert myself into the Diviney’s lives. The pull was too strong for me to ignore, but I also felt a bit intimidated. Meeting Ryan and his family made any reservations I might have had disappear.
Who was this young man who was so tough that he could overcome record high fevers, weeks of storming episodes, bouts of pneumonia, and all kinds of trials? Who was this father who demonstrated such utter devotion and love for his son and family? I marveled at the Divineys then and I marvel at them now.
This journey Ryan is on, the one that sent his family spiraling into heartache and despair, Rita perfectly described as being at once terrible and beautiful. Terrible because the loss and suffering Ryan and his family have endured is incalculable; beautiful because so many people have felt drawn by Ryan and moved to get involved.
I would like to thank the Diviney family for letting us become a part of their lives. The opportunity to know Ryan has been a divine blessing.
Thank you, Rita, for writing about something many of us have felt for a long time. When eleven perfect strangers came to my door (and over the phone) three years ago, little did I know how deeply Ryan would bind us together in our love for him and his family. Out of devastation and brokenness God made something beautiful happen.
“You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives.” Genesis 50:20
We love you Diviney family.
Mary Condy Mitchell via Facebook says
LOVE it Rita!
oops I meant that I learned about Ryan through Rita
Beautiful Rita. I learned about Rita through you and have made what contributions that I can. When I start getting down all I have to do is remember how lucky I really and how those with much more dire and long term issues such as the Divineys with so much dignity and love.
Rita, truly written from the heart. Thank you for sharing this with all of us.
Jen Lovelace says
What a wise and wonderful friend you are to those of us who have the great pleasure of knowing you. You captured the essence of the Prayer Warriors and all others who choose to walk with the Divineys in love. Evil will not prevail. The good in people will always surpass the evil some people choose to love their life with. I am proud to call you my friend!
Rita Caporicci Hoop via Facebook says
I was hoping to remain anonymous, but I guess everyone knows how I feel about Ryan and his family anyway 🙂
John Maletta says
That was absolutely beautiful, Rita. The Spirit manifests itself in so many fantastic ways. The Spirit is indeed eternal.
Alease Brown Kidd via Facebook says
So beautifully written. Thank you for sharing.
Jo Hobbs via Facebook says
You are such a blessing, dear Rita!
Carla Liberty says
Just beautiful, Rita. Yes, the spirit is alive and well. Team Diviney, always here!
Gail Doyle says
How I agree with you Jo ,Rita and Carla, Thank you for all for saying what we feel and I am so glad to be a part of “Team Diviney” and know you will get better Ryan with all of us praying for you You are so loved and we care so much for you .God bless you all
What can I tell you about Rita, one of our original Ryan Diviney Prayer Warriors. She loves God, her family, animals (especially her cat, McLovin), nature (she is the first to post snow photos, usually before daylight!), and us — all of us! And we love you, Rita. Thank you so much for writing, and for all that you do for the Diviney family. Those of us who live far away from Ashburn are indebted to you and to those whose hands are right there and at work to help Ryan and his family.
There are thousands of us out here who do what we can through donations, prayer, sharing Ryan’s Story with friends and people we meet, and many other things we do to show our love and care. I can’t over-state the importance of keeping Ryan relevant. And, too, writing here on this blog. We want to get to know you, especially your knowledge about Traumatic Brain Injury. It seems that many of us have first-hand experience. Your stories may have information that can be useful in Ryan’s recovery. If you see an article about TBI, please share it with us, as Paula did on Facebook (couldn’t get the link to print here, Paula). Ken and many of us are researching TBI to the inth degree. Finding Consciousness — we are seekers, and will Never Give Up (NGU).
Thank you, Ken, for always keeping us up-to-date. Again, Rita, thank you for all your inspirational posts. Always here with faith, hope and love, and always praying.
Beautifully written. Ryan’s spirit has reached many and you helped me understand how and why.
Gail Doyle says
Rita, You said it all ,how we feel about Ryan and we will always be here to see Ryan get well
Thank you ..Just Beautiful
Jaimi Dean Franus via Facebook says
Just beautiful, Rita <3