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Journey with John

About nine months ago, my quiet, fairly orderly life took a direction that was neither planned nor wanted.  As we sat in the doctor’s office and cancer was mentioned for the first time, my heart stopped for a moment and my mind went numb.  It took me a few moments to regain my composure, so I could hear the words of the oncologist who used phrases like… “treatable… and six months of chemotherapy….”  He was so kind in his care for us.  I took my cues from Cherilyn who faced this invasion of her body, calmly and at peace (the way she handles most things!).  I tried to follow her faithful path, but I admit to moments of anger, immense sadness, and frustration that I couldn’t do anything to help her, especially when the effects of the treatment would come.  Words can’t begin to describe the depth of my gratitude as people responded to this news.  She received countless cards from across the country.  We had Federated members immediately step forward with food (we ate remarkably well the weeks of her treatment!), but not just food for the body, but for the soul.  We were the recipients of deep love….  I can’t begin to express the joy I felt a week ago when she received word that there was no cancer present and her treatment was complete, except for follow-up care.  “Thank you” seems insufficient in expressing my gratitude for your support.  So many times, I heard the phrase, “I’ll be praying for Cherilyn.”  Only now am I appreciating the full value of those prayers.  Thank you.  Prayer is such a healing gift as it affirms how precious we are to God.

I have taken great comfort from a statement Mother Teresa made.  She said: “We need prayer to understand God’s love for us.  You have to read that beautiful passage in Isaiah 43 where God speaks and says: ‘I have called you by name.  You are mine.  Water will not drown you, fire will not burn you.  I will give up nations for you.  You are precious to me.’ We are precious to God.  That man dying in the street – precious to God, that millionaire – precious to God, that sinner – precious to God.  Because he loves us.”  My joy is great that Cherilyn is “cancer free.”  But, I think of all those people who don’t receive such good news and are lonely and afraid.  How I wish they knew the power of prayer and the great truth that “You are precious to God.”  My prayer life is richer than before.  My love is stronger.  My joy is complete as I understand in all its beauty the truth that in God’s eyes all of us are precious and loved.  I pray that you know it as well.  Blessings!

Love, Pastor John