She sat in the front row of the church with her husband, their children and her aunt. She was looking for peace in the midst of a life crisis….you see, at 34 years young she is battling colon and liver cancer. She looked so fragile, and in her eyes I could see a distant hope for healing. When people engaged her in conversation, she had the sweetest smile. She is a nurse, so she is well aware of her options and non options.
If you have an extra prayer please lift ANU up that she may truly be healed.
"We're not alone on this journey…."
For the past several years, I have been privileged to be part of a spiritual "troupe" (for lack of a better word), bringing a unique, tender expression of the author's experience with breast cancer to others. The author, Alice Brown, is a breast cancer survivor. In story and music, Alice and her husband, Bill, have created an exquisitely deep and intimate presentation ….
Finding strength and hope through the way of the cross: a JOURNEY with cancer.
With a spirit of love and hope, eight of us bring this prayerful experience to parishes throughout the suburbs and Chicago during Lent. (I must add that we have presented it during other months, also.)
"…You are always with us….leading us to be the human Christ…and share Your everlasting Love…"
As the verse to the song says, no one is alone on their journey. At some point in our lives, each of us is called to be the human Christ to others. Have you ever thought of yourself as the "human Christ?" Rather overwhelming thought, isn't it? Yet, how blessed we all are to have the opportunity to journey with another.
Cancer is so wide spread that most people have experienced it within themselves and/or their loved ones. The Christ Presence we bring embraces that which is broken within them (and, often, inside ourselves). The hope, the prayer is that they will be touched by Love in the purest form.
"…When we stumble into dark despair, shine Your light so we may find our way…."
While we cannot "fix" one who is suffering, we can be there with them when they stumble and fall, helping them up, just as others helped Christ when He fell.
"…Life can strip us of our hopes and dreams. Your love beckons us to rise again."
During illness, (be it physical, mental or spiritual), hopes and dreams often vanish. We try to find a way to rise above it, to make sense out of it, to see the Light. And it is in those moments that the Light lifts us.
Let us pray that we may be open to the gentle, subtle gnawing to be the "human Christ" to others.
I think there is a stand up comedian just screaming to break out of this man. On our trip to New Zealand he not only made friends with the sheep.....and, yes, this is a real LIVE sheep.....but also delighted in the seals, ducks, birds, feeding the llamas. I think I will continue to post pictures of my hubby in some of his other silly poses.
How boring life would be without this comedian!
Maverick would like to thank the Pontows for taking such good care of him for the past month! His parents want to know why he didn't wake their household up at 3:40 am to play like he does at home. Darn good thing this dog is so cute!
This exquisite example of the miracles of Creation was taken in New Zealand just a couple of weeks ago. We walked through a butterfly garden, viewing so many different colors and sizes of butterflies.
I stood watching it for quite a while, and got up close to it. Breathtaking at least. Just one more reason to thank our God.
The butterfly symbolizes Hope....how perfect for Lent!
It must be spring!
Waking up to the sound of the cardinal singing this morning filled me with thoughts of the beauty yet to come…..spring! That glorious time when we are surround with new life.
Isn't it interesting that the resurrection also occurs in spring?
Open you eyes to all the fresh new sights and sounds around you.
Jet Lag is an interesting phenomena. Indeed we have experienced it many times before. But, somehow, trying to recuperate from our wonderful New Zealand trip is taking juuuuuuuuuuust a weeeeeeeeee bit longer.
The first night home, I slept soundly……..and Jim was WIDE awake. Last night Jim slept mostly soundly and I was WIDE awake….reading and reading and reading and drinking hot chocolate and tea……Finally at 2:30, the body caved…only to awaken at 8:00 when I was supposed to be at an exercise class. Hmmm, I thought, I think God is trying to tell me something….and during this Lenten season I'm trying reeeeeeeeally hard to listen. So the message as I "heard" it was;
"Rusty, my dear chid, are you serious? No, no class today….or maybe even tomorrow. Friday you can go do your thing."
Not the message I wanted to hear, but it was clear as a bell. And, I felt very peaceful, not torn between physical abuse (of a sort) and the Word within me.
Now you may think it strange that I would couple jet lag and Lent together, but…..I do have a point……somewhere in my rattled brain, but at the moment it escapes me (is it Thursday or Wednesday; what time is it…..4 pm our time or am I still in NZ time, which is 19 hours ahead, Dear Lord, help me sleep tonight).
Blessings this Lenten season….and remember to listen listen listen.
Rusty married her high school sweetheart, Jim. They have four children and seven adorable