“We’re praying for this next chapter,” I heard the greeter mention to someone as they walked out of the sanctuary. I glanced up to see who she was addressing, and my sweet friends came into view.
“Chapter, what chapter,” I inquired? Anticipating the announcement of an engagement or a trip, or some other fun endeavor, I smiled, and snagged a big hug.
She paused, grabbed my hand, and whispered, “Paul. Cancer. It’s everywhere. It’s in the bones, liver and gallbladder. There is no cure.”
My hug deepened and slowly, raw emotions started pouring out in the form of that huge, soul wrenching, ugly cry. For me, it’s an act so foreign, I wasn’t sure where to go with my response.
Ever so quietly, I heard her state, “I want you to sing.” My sobs intensified.
Today, as I type, tears fall to the keyboard just thinking of those private moments this past Sunday.
I gazed into her eyes. Eyes of a true servant. Eyes that mimic Oswald Chamber’s words, “We have to pray with our eyes on God, not on the difficulties.”
That is their life testimony. A couple whose eyes continuously gaze on our Savior. Words escaped me, and all I could get out was, “You two are the hands and feet of Jesus.”
She comforted me with the assurance , “It’s Ok to be sad, we’ve been sad.” Then she added, “But pray that. Pray others will see His faithfulness. Of course, I pray that we would be healed from this disease, and that ultimately His plan is complete healing on earth, but if it’s not, we want people to see Jesus through this.”
We continued to share. I continued to cry, and as we closed, I declared, “I don’t know what to do. What can I do?”
Ever so simply, she commanded, “Love him well. Grab your husband, and do something fun. This month, I want you to say, ‘We are going to go have some fun together in Liz and Paul’s honor.’”
Love him well.
Applicable to my own life, I’ve extrapolated that to, Love them well.
Can it really be that easy?
(Find out my thoughts and response over at (in)courage, where I’ve been highly convicted to love them well.)
That is so heartwrenching. We have a similar situation in our church. One of the most wonderful, caring people, a doctor himself, has cancer in many places in his body. We do everything we can to help the family know we love them (all of them), but such a good reminder to love our families well. Thank you.
Reading this has me in tears. I pray the day he will let me again will come soon. In the meantime I will love my children well.
Ack! Should NOT have read this at work. Thanks for the very vivid reminder that we only have today!
Though not at all what I thought it was going to be about, this sincerely broke my heart.
I hope I could be that way if I had to face this. But what a beautiful reminder. We should be doing this with out trouble, and we so often don’t.
You made me cry! Actually, I’m starting a new “chapter” of tryng to keep my voice soft when I speak, and only make supportive comments to my husband and daughter. And, it is having an immediate impact in our household.
I was watching “19 kids and Counting” the other day, which I do, kind of hit and miss, and it really struck me when Michelle Duggar was saying, of her soft voice with her children, that she will have to answer to God someday, for how she spoke on earth.
Well, it kind of hit me like a ton of bricks, and made me really evaluate my attitude at home. Don’t our closet deserve just as good as what we give the outside world? Something for all of us to think about.
Thanks so much for sharing this story with us!
Very poignant and touching.
My heart and prayers go out to your friend, their family and to all of you that are their friends. I will be giving my kids more love than ever before. I will definitely have more fun with them & hug them more in Liz’s & Paul’s name. May God Bless them.
Convicting…..thank you. Thank God I have the opportunity to love them well.
How heartbreaking. Oh that we would love well during our time here on this earth. Saying a prayer for your friends.
Thank you for sharing this — a gentle nudge to “do the right thing” and love my family well.
I stumbled upon your blog after trying to find how to repaint my kitchen cupboard handles. I saw your post about your friend with cancer and wanted to share some information that’s been helpful to us (we’ve passed it on to several friends & family members with cancer): http://www.hacres.com/pdf/documents/HAHealthNews_54.pdf The publication gives several testimonies from people who have overcome cancer through nutrition. If you sign up for the Hallelujah Acres’ emails, they send over a lot of helpful information as well; we have received emails that address how to prevent and overcome cancer. Missionary friends of ours first told us about the ministry many years ago; we have received their Health News publication for over 15 years, and it has changed the way we think and eat. Their Health News publ. used to be free but now is only free to view online. Just thought I’d pass along the info in hopes it could be of help to share with your friend who was diagnosed with cancer. (We are not associated with the H.Acres ministry – just sharing what has helped us).
Thank you so much for this reminder. I am in the season of preschool and I really needed this.