I've heard a lot of sad stories this week and it's really made me take a time out and think. Sometimes we get so insulated in our little bubbles that we start to forget about all the not-so-nice things out there in the world. Things like hunger, cancer, and depression. I've been hit head on with a few of these thing this week, so I thought it would be good to share. Because bad things can happen to anyone, not just to bad people. But like I said in a previous post, it's not really about what happens to you, it's about the reaction. Whether or not you decide to react with hope and love. Whether or not you decide to fight. Whether or not you decide to glorify God in the midst of your battles.
So I wanted to break out of the bubble and share a bit. I'm not going to name names, these people (and those who love them) know who they are and what they are up against. But it does help to give just a bit of perspective on what encompasses life and compassion, and how we can pray for and help others in their very urgent times of need.
A woman in my MOPS (Mothers of Preschoolers) group has a younger sister. She's 22 years old and she has melanoma. She has tumors on her liver, brain, and numerous other places. Her prognosis is not good. In essence, her family is sending her to doctor after doctor to "buy her time" ... to help her live a little longer so that they can celebrate her life and all that she is. Just think about what you were doing when you were 22 and replace that with fighting an everyday battle with a cancer that you know will eventually take your much too short life.
The woman in my MOPS group educated our entire group on the risks and seriousness of melanoma. It was scary and frightening and made me scared for my kids and my entire family. BUT ... it is something that can be prevented if we take the time to do it. Please watch this video (the girl in the blue cardigan and glasses is the one I referred to above) and share it.
Next, there is a sweet family who goes to our church. They also have their kids in preschool at the same school that my kids attend. I'll admit that I don't know them that well, but our lives share many of the same places, so I think we probably know each other better than we think. Today I made (ok, I bought half of it) their family a meal. Their family has been getting meals from our church and preschool for over 2 months. The outpouring of support for them has been amazing. It has shown what a community can do if they rise up around another family in crisis. It has given me hope.
Their daughter, their sweet little two year old daughter, was diagnosed with leukemia a couple months ago. Their daughter who is the same age as Luke. Their daughter who plays with Luke in the church nursery and on the same playground as he does at school. Their daughter whose father is an oncologist, someone who knows the ins and outs of what her battle will entail. Their family is amazing and an inspiration to me. I cannot fathom what they are going through, but they are doing it with grace and love from a community that is caring for them.
Perspective is a powerful thing. Just when you lose it, something otften hits you upside the head to make you turn around and remember that you're not alone. Other are hurting, others are fighting, so what are you going to do to help?
Wear sunscreen. Hug your babies tight. Love someone who is hurting.