Joey + Rory’s holidays got even brighter recently, with a rare visit by gospel legend Bill Gaither.
“They say that at Christmas time emotions run high, and you feel more than you do the rest of the year. I think that’s probably true,” Rory wrote in his blog, This Life I Live. “Though she managed a smile most of the time, Joey’s heart was heavy and she was feeling some things she hadn’t before…”
Feek went on to describe his wife’s struggles with anger, sadness and the “fear of the unknown” during the holiday season. “It’s not easy for her to be as excited about what the new year holds in store as it was last year,” he explained.
Family friend and renowned gospel icon Bill Gaither has made an effort to show his support for Joey during her time of need. Gaither, who has helped release all of Joey + Rory‘s gospel albums through his own label, has been visiting her bedside nearly every day.
“We’ll get a knock on the door in the morning or early afternoon, and next thing you know Bill will be parked in a chair beside Joey’s bed, telling her jokes and stories about days long-past and he’ll have Joey and all of us laughing and smiling ’til our faces hurt,” Rory writes. “I think he just wants to brighten Joey’s day and create as much joy for her as he can. We all do.”
Gaither also arranged a small gesture that turned into a tremendously meaningful moment for Joey.
“A week or so ago, just before Christmas – on the other side of the pond… we noticed a big fire burning by the gazebo,” Rory explained. Gaither had built the fire with the hope that it would bring a smile to Joey’s face. “From Joey’s bedroom window, we could see the beautiful flames dancing across the water. It was magical.”
“That’s the thing about someone burning with passion – the whole world can see their light,” he continued. “They have something that shines so bright inside them, others can’t help but notice it in their eyes and on their faces and in their actions. They use their lives to provide some light in a dark world that can be overwhelming and scary at times. Bill has sure shined his light on us.”
The seemingly unremarkable fire became a beacon of hope for the Feek family that night. “With candles, they all gathered and lit a fire that I have a feeling will keep burning long after Joey’s gone. After I’m gone.”