Last week I told you about our sweet new friend, Miss S, who has been riding to church with us on Sunday mornings. I mentioned that she might have cancer.
It has been confirmed. My heart sunk when she told me. Esophogeal cancer. Biopsy this week to find out more.
But she is not afraid.
Her husband tried to stop her from coming to church this week.
"You only have tennis shoes to wear," he criticized. "You have no business going to a church."
"Well, they haven't said anything about my shoes," she countered.
As she relayed this conversation to me, I looked at her intently. "Don't you ever let what you are wearing keep you from coming. We don't care what you have one, we just want you there."
After the service we enjoyed a church-wide luncheon. Such fun and fellowship and fried chicken! Sweet sisters in Christ surrounded her with welcome, with love, with the touch of acceptance. I was choking back tears as I watched this church body embrace her and shower her with smiles and hugs. Jesus was in our midst in a very tangible way. She finally admitted to me as she enjoyed her meal that they have no food in their motel room. In fact, she had a mayonnaise sandwich for dinner last night.
"If you are going to fight this cancer, you need to eat healthy. We are going to send some food home with you." I went to one of the precious older women in our church with my concern and she snapped into action. Four boxes of chicken, ham, beans and potato salad went home with Miss S. Along with healthy fruit bars, raisins, and fruit cups from the local grocery store on our way back to the motel. She was overwhelmed by the love and care she has received. New friends, new family, new church...her smile shone and I told her, "It is no accident that God brought us together. He knew what you are going to go through and He is making sure you have love and support to get you through this."
"I'm not afraid," she said again. "I know, no matter what happens, I will be fine. If I live then that is a gift. If I die, I will be with God."
And there you go. Who is blessing who here? I am in awe of her faith in the face of uncertainty. I am amazed by her courage to step into the car of a stranger and walk into a church full of strangers, not knowing how people will react to her. I am inspired by her humility...true poverty of spirit that the Lord is blessing, just as He promised He would do. And above all, I am humbled. Remember, I was reluctant to say yes. I had plenty of good excuses as to why someone else should pick her up. But God, in His mercy, allowed me to stumble through the roadblock and be a part of her life.
Thank you, Lord, that in the midst of hard you are planting joy. Thank you that my lack of faith does not cause you to rethink your plans. You plow forward despite me, and I am so grateful.
Friends, please pray for Miss S. and her family as she gears up for the fight of her life. Pray that this will awaken her husband and adult children to their need for Jesus. And, finally, pray for her healing from all the health problems that plague her. They are many, but God is big.