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Tony Rossi

Radio Host/Producer

Finding God in Your Wife’s Words and Actions

Matt Weber admits that he had lived a relatively trouble-free, “Andy Griffith Show/Leave It to Beaver” life until the day his stomach burst open at the age of 30. No, it didn’t happen like a scene in an “Alien” movie. Rather, a high level of acid caused his stomach to perforate inside his body, which then allowed that acid to spill toward his other organs. Emergency surgery saved his life and also prompted some deep reflection on the topics of life, love, God, and especially marriage, being that Weber was a newlywed at the time.

He is now sharing his experiences in his new memoir “Operating on Faith.” But if you’re thinking the book is a depressing, “Woe is me” tome, you’d be wrong. In addition to being poignant, spiritually wise, and an endearing love letter to his wife Nell, it’s also very funny. Because Matt Weber can’t not be funny.

The Catholic humorist, author and host of “The Lens” on CatholicTV.com joined me on “Christopher Closeup” recently to discuss all the excitement in his life. He had been having stomach issues for a year, but he didn’t take them too seriously at first. He kept getting worse, though, and soon realized that for Nell, the “in sickness and in health” marriage vow would become a reality much sooner than either of them expected.

The care Nell provided for him not only gave Weber even deeper insight into the depth of her love and character, it taught him something about God. He said, “My wife is one of the best people in the world. She’s my heart and she’s my soul. In many ways, it’s easy to pray to Jesus and have that relationship when you’re sick and in need. But not everyone sees that in the caretaker, in your wife, in all the things that they do for you—that is that person living out the words, deeds and acts of Jesus Christ. I think my relationship with God was really strengthened in that I saw God and Jesus and everything that is good in the Bible, everything that we hear in the Gospel, played out in my wife’s words, deeds, and actions.”

Weber also revealed the reason he’s able to inject humor into everything, even life’s painful moments. He said, “Humor, to me, is one of the best ways to connect with people. I didn’t want this book to just be a bunch of chapters of me whining about my pain. I wanted there to be moments in between where it’s like, ‘Things are not going well, but you can still find some joy.’ I guess that’s the way I approach most of life. You need to have joy in all components. I think the light, the candle in the darkness can be that joy, that joke, that laughter. When some things are really bad, to have a little joke there is a good way to bring things back down to a more positive level.”

Weber concluded by noting that he hopes “Operating on Faith” will bring readers who’ve experienced pain back to that positive level: “Maybe you overcame cancer or maybe you are dealing with some major medical issues right now that are much worse than stomach surgery [and recovery]. I’m hoping that you can find some sort of support and some sort of faith and a loving component in the reading of this book—and along the way, get a couple of laughs in the process.”

 

For a free copy of the Christopher News Note, PERSEVERING THROUGH PAIN AND STRUGGLE, write: The Christophers, 5 Hanover Square, New York, NY 10004; or e-mail: mail@christophers.org