Thursday, July 24, 2008

The Circle of Christian Love

"Blessed be the God and the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort which we ourselves are comforted by God." - 2 Corinthians 1:3-4

Tomorrow is Johnny's next chemo session. He got a week's reprieve from last Friday's scheduled chemo due to his low platelet count. So he has spent the last week enjoying the good moments and improved appetite, to build his strength up for the next weapons launch against the enemy cancer! I googled "low platelets" to find some good food to assist rebuilding platelets. I'm sure everyone will welcome the good news that the highest anti-oxidant food on earth is DARK CHOCOLATE! The higher the cacao content the higher the anti-oxidants. So 60% and above is your best bet. It also listed vitamin B-12 as a helpful aid. So Johnny has been enjoying guilt free chocolate treats each nite along with his B-12 drops.

We have been enjoying quality time with friends and family as Johnny's endurance allows. His hair gets thinner each day but his spirits continue to rise as he feels the warmth and love of so many people letting him know they care. It simply confirms our faith and belief in the power of prayers and the goodness of our fellow man (and woman.) We truly feel humbled by the comfort and joy we receive from so many people. It makes me wish there was a way for EVERY person going through cancer to receive the blessings we have so richly.

I encourage each of you to start something in motion for someone you know that has cancer. One simple act can explode into a glorious movement that takes on a life of its own as the power of God takes over. Let me give you an example of what I am talking about.

When my Dad got Lymphoma several years ago, I got a bright idea to lift his spirits and help him deal with the loss of his crowning glory. I knew how proud he was of his beautiful silvery locks and couldn't imagine how he would feel with nothing to run his comb through. So I got a list of addresses (that I happened to have from their 50th wedding anniversary invitation list) of all his friends over the many years and wrote a personal letter that I copied to each. I explained his current health situation and asked them each, if so inclined, to send him a hat of any kind. I planned it as a surprise and imagined the glee my parents would feel when suddenly boxes started arriving on their doorstep.

Indeed they did! In the end he received over 90 hats in the mail. What I discovered was that people were thrilled to be given a way to express their comfort. Everyone always wants to help someone in these circumstances but few know what to do. And so it was when Johnny received his news of the cancer. I remembered how much I loved going to the mailbox each day during my own cancer journey to see if I got a letter. So I sent out a general email to everyone I knew asking them to tell everyone they knew to send Johnny a letter by snail mail. He never goes on the computer.

It wasn't long before letters started pouring into the mailbox! Every day we find letters or gifts of encouragement. It amazes us how many come from total strangers. So you can see how just one letter started a chain reaction of love. It is such a simple thing to do also. You don't even need THEIR list of friends and family - though if you can get it that helps even more. You can just start with YOUR own list because people have a heart to comfort - even strangers they don't know. We read comments from people that tell us they think of us daily and pray for us and even cry tears over us. It is hard to fathom this heart from strangers but I'm here to tell you the Christian spirit is alive and well in our world!

Comfort one another! There is no greater joy than knowing that because you live - one life has breathed easier. I read that in an Ann Landers column long ago in her definition of success. Giving is a two way street. You always get so much more than you give and I am sure the body reacts with special endorphins that are released from benevolent acts. God tells us in Ephesians Chapter 6 that every good we do for others He does for us in return. That's what I call a win/win situation!

Just imagine the circle of love we could start if everyone who reads this stopped and did this one act of kindness for someone suffering with cancer right now. We ALL know someone with cancer. That's a scary but true statement. So I challenge you to ring the bells of hope and prayer and rally everyone in your address book to reach out to that someone YOU know who needs a "love transfusion." Some will not do it because their friends will think it "silly."

One of the greatest truths I discoverd in my own walk was this. I used to only talk to people I thought would be "receptive" about the Lord. When I was battling cancer I really started talking about my faith to EVERONE and I found that MOST people wanted to have the conversation. But they were afraid to speak first. So act boldly. Uplift someone. Challenge those on your address list to do this random act of kindness for someone you know who needs it. It is such a simple act to send a card or letter. And its effects are MIGHTY.

Stay tuned for future blog entries that will give you a list I made up, of 100 things you can do for someone with cancer. Meanwhile, start your own circle of love and let's set the world on a "holy fire" of Christian love for our neighbors in need. Thanks to all of you again for your continued prayer and support.

Beautiful Blessings,



constance said...

Yea, Rene!! I love your idea...You are so creative.....I love the things your family does. You are so precious. I am so thankful the Lord has put us together. He is so amazing. Johnny is going to do great tomorrow. He can take any deadly poison and it will not harm him....and the blood of Jesus is flowing thru his veins bringing healing and health to all of his flesh!! His blood levels are going to be outstanding. Love you, Connie

Scarlett Lillian said...

You're such a great writer Momma!

Scarlett Lillian said...

Constance- I love that statement "He can take deadly poison and it will not harm him... the blood of Jesus is flowing thru his veins!"