There is a word that brings neighbors running across yards
in their leopard-print fuzzy robe.
My neighbor called and said the word.
"Missy, I have cancer."
I told her to come over now, while kids in pajamas still peek between railings wondering about bed. Just come now.
Paul handled the kids, and as I watched her cross our yards under the light on my front porch, I prayed so many things. I prayed for many more years of scampering across yards in fluffy robes for tea. I prayed for this beautiful woman to see a world past her forties. But mostly, I prayed for the right now, for the words between us, and that He would sit with us in this mess...
And He did.
While telling me about her biopsies, her upcoming double mastectomy, the chemo, the dreams now on hold, I see something flickering across her face, lighting up beneath the days of lost sleep...
I see peace.
I hear her say, "I feel gratitude. That I know God."
In cancer. In lost dreams. In the month of hell that lies before her, that is coming too fast in all of the rushing to save her life, in all the procedures and surgeries...
It's what I have been looking for for 2 years now.
I've been looking for the people who don't break deals.
And here, in my living room, was someone facing that very thing, in a poise of peaceful gratitude.
He keeps sending me these people, carrying the "worst thing"
with grace and without fear.
And she says to me, with a bruise the size of Texas on her breast from this week's biopsies, and with those giant tumors lying right next to her heart, eating away at her body...
"The worst thing that can happen is to not know God."
We hold hands, we pray; we are in fellowship with our God as He sits with us in our robes. It's palpable. He walks with the afflicted. He's with her.
She knows it, and I feel it.
His promises give her life. Unconditionally, without question, and with 100% chance, she has life eternal, and she rests in His promises alone.
I watch her run back to her house under the light of the half-moon...the same house that she and her husband have spent the last year fixing up with loving hands, so that they might share that home with foster children...