Greeting, Desert Fathers and Mothers
I sat in the oncologist’s office as she received the report. First, there would be chemotherapy. Surgery would follow. Then, daily radiation treatments for six weeks. Still, the cancer returned.
My godmother was now hearing words like “inoperable.” She had decided, before the oncologist’s somber pronouncement, that she would be taking a cruise with a friend. Together they would sail over blue waters, to exotic locations and eat scrumptious meals. Her health and spirits were rather high, so she wanted to enjoy her good health as long as it lasted.
My godsister was thinking the same thing. So, she planned to give her a surprise—us! We booked the cruise, arranged our travel—but without her knowledge. Our little surprise eventually became a big one: and two turned to four, and four turned to fifteen—all with the express purpose of celebrating the life and strength of someone we love and admire.
As I write this post overlooking the incredible Caribbean ocean, a woman on a balcony near mine is sobbing (loudly) about her wedding and the debts she’s incurred on this trip. “My wedding was crap!" she screamed. "My reception was crap!”
I so wanted to tell her about my godmother’s story; about how short life really is; about how precious each day has become. I’m sorry her wedding was “crap” but from where I sit, life is looking pretty good. I have had a wonderful time filled with laughter and good friends. I have had an opportunity to show people how precious they are. To top this all off, every meal has been provided with painstaking attention to detail. The sunshine, liquid or otherwise, has been abundant. Over 2000 crew members work diligently to make sure that my every need is met. Luxury is all around me—I refuse to act the beggar. Chemotherapy? Yes. Radiation? Unfortunately.
Life? Only today is promised. I plan to live it on whatever balcony God places me, determined to enjoy the view with those I love.
Speak a word today—encourage someone else that life is precious and that it's worth living. Encourage someone to enjoy God's abundant and extravagant love. Speak a word of encouragement today--give life.