Choices, Changes & Healing
You Never Really Know How Long You Have
Say What You Need to Say
I have been restless the last few nights. Usually when someone I know is having a rough time, I can feel some of their pain in my soul. Don't laugh, you probably do too, but are too busy to know it. When I awake like that I pray.
The startling news came this morning, I got a call about a friend with stage 4 lung cancer. My thoughts swirled around me, he is so young, just adopted a daughter, and why someone as wonderful as him? He is a giving person, cares for the hurting and pours his spiritually mature life into others. It just didn't seem fair. Saddened, I fell to my knees again and began to pray. I prayed for an extension of his life, his health, his family, and begged for his healing. I was asked to join some others who are committed to pray for them daily. We would meet at his house a few weeks later and pray some more.
When I arrived at his home, it was peaceful, as always. Visiting him, his wife and daughter has always been easy and a complete blessing to me. I can be real there, transparent, and vulnerable, weak and failing, strong and full of faith, all are acceptable in their presence.
We talk about life as it is, and how we wish it were different, we pray, we cry, we move forward, even when there seems to be no reason to be bold, or optimistic about the future. Now it is my turn to be the encourager I know I am called to be in these circumstances. It is what I do, by the grace of God.
We worship, sometimes he share music he has written, or poetry, or excerpts from books that are meaningful to us. Today we come encouraging the weary, which is an obvious need now. Chemo is taking its usual toll, mostly on the patient, other times on everyone around.
Words of love and appreciation are communicated to hearts and memories contemplated as we visit. I express my gratitude for the gifts of wisdom imparted to me in my school years and forward, since we have been friends for over fifteen years. He incredibly cares for us even in his sickness, and is prepared to infuse others with the overflow of hope he has, miraculously. This faith he demonstrates, comes from one source, His belief in God.
He is so sure of his destination, his future, his eternal joy. I, in my sometimes ordinary circumstances, can barely climb out of bed some days, fears enveloping my dreams and hopes. He been our fearless leader in the journey with us for a long time. Whether you are with him or away, his words and teaching remain in our hearts. He proved himself always trustworthy and faithful in time of need. He is a "Genesis" leader, teaching of creation and the intricate plan God had for mankind, and individually for us.
How can one express so deep a gratitude for the sacrifice made to meet the needs of others? He continues to teach, even when he is feeling small and physically spent. That is the miracle, he infuses us with energy, supernaturally, as a living demonstration of God's strength being perfect in our weakness.
I want selfishly as many do, for him to live, prosper, and teach others who have not yet reached that point of hope. I suppose he has already passed on the legacy. He knows only too well that every baton must be passed, eventually.
Now as I sit in yet another hospital waiting room, awaiting the recovery of a friend whose surgery brought devastating news, I translate the hope imparted to me by one to another at the precipice. This one does not yet have faith, but I will carry it until it deposits in him.
To live fully alive in faith, we must go on. With our dreams, hope, and trust, we will dare to live. As we travel this road with our friend, we are honored!
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