Today is Memorial Day. Today, towns all across America will have parades- school bands and VFW floats meandering the city streets, tossing candy and playing patriotic music. Today, lots of folks will be char-broiling a wide variety of meats- charcoal and gas grill tank sales rise dramatically in anticipation of Memorial Day. From the ages of 18 to about 22, I was a part of a community Municipal Band that performed twice a week during the summer- I was among the youngest of the members. We would always participate in the Memorial Day parade and the Fourth of July celebration. It was inaccurate to describe us a “marching” band- we were really much more of a “strolling” band. And although we would stroll…amble…call it what you will…on the parade route all the way TO the cemetery, the tone and mood changed noticeably once we got there. The band just seemed to…understand…the gravity of the proceedings, and our demeanor changed. And then, as we stood there at attention (or at least as much at attention as a band can be!) and heard the lone trumpeter blow taps, it was powerful. As those mournful notes echoed across the cemetery, unimpeded by ANY other noise but the breeze and the birds, I couldn’t help but tear up- thinking about the countless men and women who gave their lives…their LIVES…so that I had the freedoms that I so much enjoy…and all too often take for granted.
We are in the 4th week of our current sermon series- Things Your Parents Said. If you remember, the 1st week we looked at “Wear Clean Underwear”, the 2nd week we looked at “You’ll Put Your Eye Out”, last week it was “Don’t Play With Fire”. Today, as we have every week, we’ll consider 2 “old standards” before getting to the topic at hand. Do you remember this? “Money doesn’t grow on trees!” Well…no…DUH! (But how many of us have wished that money DID in fact grow on trees?) How about this one? “Stop crying, or I’ll give you something to cry about!” Well, isn’t THAT special? Apparently I’m NOT already upset enough- I mean, I’m only in tears! But now you’re going to “give me something to cry about”! Well, I can hardly wait! How about this one? “When I was your age…” You KNOW what I mean! You would be complaining about how bad your life was, and your mom and/or dad would say something like, “When I was your age, I had to walk to school, every day, 8 miles, each way, uphill, BOTH ways, barefoot, in three feet of snow, carrying a thousand pounds of firewood on my back, with rabid wolverines chasing me and biting at my ankles!” Do you ever feel like your kids just aren’t caring about, even paying attention to your stories about “back in the day…”? Let me let you in on a little secret- technology is the key in that case. If you really want your kids to know how deprived and empty your childhood was, talk about the technology you didn’t have. “In my day, we didn’t have computers, cell phones, IPods, Facebook…”- that’ll get their attention! But be careful- there’s a fine line between garnering sympathy and inviting ridicule. Hunter once asked me if we had music when I was a kid. I assured him we hummed Gregorian Chants will we rode our dinosaurs to school. But perhaps the best example of this is “back in my day” mentality is found in a Monty Python skit where two men are talking about “the old days”.
John 2:1-11- the third day a wedding took place at Cana in Galilee. Jesus’ mother was there, and Jesus and his disciples had also been invited to the wedding. When the wine was gone, Jesus’ mother said to him, “They have no more wine.” “Dear woman, why do you involve me?” Jesus replied, “My time has not yet come.” His mother said to the servants, “Do whatever he tells you.” Nearby stood six stone water jars, the kind used by the Jews for ceremonial washing, each holding from twenty to thirty gallons. Jesus said to the servants, “Fill the jars with water”; so they filled them to the brim. Then he told them, “Now draw some out and take it to the master of the banquet.” They did so, and the master of the banquet tasted the water that had been turned into wine. He did not realize where it had come from, though the servants who had drawn the water knew. Then he called the bridegroom aside and said, “Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests have had too much to drink; but you have saved the best till now.” This, the first of his miraculous signs, Jesus performed in Cana of Galilee. He thus revealed his glory, and his disciples put their faith in him.
You’ve seen the commercial that asks the question: “Got milk?” Well, today’s question is: “Got wine?” And the answer is: “No!” The wine was gone. The new couple was facing the ultimate embarrassment- not being able to provide. They would be forever remembered as the ones who failed to take care of the needs of their guests. The supply of wine was already running low- Jesus and his boys showing up only put an addition strain on the already diminishing supply of wine.
Did you notice that the story opened with the words: “The third day…”? There is a strong allusion to the resurrection. John’s Gospel, and Jesus’ ministry, begin where they end- a miracle at the end of three days. With this story, John begins the slow, steady build to the greatest miracle ever- the resurrection of Jesus, when Jesus becomes the bridegroom and the church becomes the bride, adorned for her Husband. Jesus’ first miracle points to his penultimate miracle, the one by which He shows His glory.
After Jesus and his disciples arrive at the wedding, Mary, Jesus’ mother, comes to Him and says, “They have no more wine.” Some theologians believe that Mary was not actually asking for, or even expecting, a miracle.but was instead saying, “You and your friends showing up has helped cause this problem. Send some of your buddies over to the Casey’s to get some more wine.” But I respectfully disagree with those folks. I think the more likely scenario is that Mary knew exactly what she was doing. I mean, she has known all along who Jesus was…remember, the angel visited HER with the news of the coming miraculous birth. She KNOWS who Jesus is…and what he’s capable of. She knows of His baptism, of His calling the disciples- she understands that His public ministry has begun. She knows that He’s about to do something wonderful. I think she sees this “mini-crisis” and providential. And so, even through His reluctance to start his ministry before its time, she tells the servants: “Do whatever He tells you.”
This is a story about miracles…involving everyday, ordinary needs. Miracles happen when we understand that Jesus cares about our everyday needs. Mary knew that- Jesus cares about people, about our physical needs, not just our spiritual needs. Jesus is the kind of guy you want at your party. He knows how to have a good time. He enjoyed himself so much that, in Matthew 11:19, He quotes his detractors as calling Him a “glutton and drunkard”. No one ever accused Jesus of promoting a rigid, serious, emotionally stifling religion- quite the opposite. Wherever Jesus went there was life and joy. In fact, in John 15:11, He states that his life mission is that his joy might be in us and that our joy might be complete. Jesus came to bring His joy…to us. He is the God of irrepressible joy, and He’s come to share it. He offers the wine of joy to all those who are thirsty for life — for all those who are willing to come and drink.
This is a story about miracles. Miracles happen when we understand that Jesus transforms our everyday experiences. Jesus didn’t come to give us information; he came to give us transformation. He came to change things. He didn’t come to bring new ideas; he came to make new people. God is in the transformation business. The world wants us to get a new hairdo, a new wardrobe, a face lift. But Jesus doesn’t want to change our looks, He wants to change our hearts. He doesn’t want to rearrange us; he wants to transform us. Jesus is in the business of turning water into wine, sinners into saints, fear into courage, sorrow into joy, defeat into victory, despair into hope and death into life.
In this story, when the master of the banquet tastes the wine, his eyes light up. He can’t believe what he’s tasting. He says, “Everyone brings out the choice wine first and then the cheaper wine after the guests are drunk; but you’ve saved the best till last.” Jesus always saves the best till last. The world puts its best right up front…and then things quickly go downhill from there. But when God shows up, things go from good…through better…to best. Like the water jars, we can be filled to the brim with the blessings of God. The best the world has to offer pales when compared to the new wine Jesus offers. Notice- Jesus waited until their resources had completely run dry before he performed the miracle. Only when the people came to the end of their supply were they ready to receive what Jesus had to give.
We need to hunger for the living bread of heaven, instead of the white bread the world offers. Are you satisfied with yourself…and your TV…and your computer…and your job? Or do you hunger…and thirst…for more? Do you find yourself looking around and thinking, “This CAN’T be all there is…there HAS TO BE more!” Are you thirsty for something more? If so, you’ve come to the right place…the right Savior…because He is the God of abundance, the God of life…new life…new wine. To receive this new wine, you have to come to Him with a legitimate, sincere thirst. You have to stand before Jesus and follow the instructions of His mother, “Do whatever He tells you.” If you do, something wonderful will happen- new wine, new life, a miracle.
Thanks for stopping by- I pray you have a blessed Sunday and a GREAT Memorial Day tomorrow! Please make sure and stop then, and stick with Jesus!
Remember Junior High? Everybody wanted to be like “the cool kids”…and I was NOT one of the cool kids! We all wanted to wear the right clothes, have the right hair style, say the right things. We wanted to be…alike! The funny thing about that it that even people who want to be different than the mainstream folk end up looking JUST LIKE the people they run with. I once heard someone ask a guy who was wearing all black with eye liner and spikes and chains everywhere, “Why do you dress like that?” The response? “I want to be different.” The irony? They were surrounded by about a dozen people who all looked JUST like them!
WE all know the power of Duct Tape. Carl Zwanzig said, “Duct tape is like the force: It has a dark side…and a light side and it holds the universe together.” (Perhaps Darth Vader could say, “The Duct Tape is strong in this one!”) I found a website that lists things you can do with Duct Tape. Here are just SOME of them: make a decorative book cover, fix a broken tail light, repair a cracked windshield, patch clothing, repair a broken hose, wallpaper your house, make a hinge for a cabinet door, repair upholstery, roll into a ball for hockey practice, mark lines on a sports field, use to pull unsightly hair, patch holes in vinyl siding, make jewelry, make shoes, close chip bags, fix vacuum cleaner hose, repair eye glasses, make a wallet, hold a car hood shut, make a belt, use as handcuffs, remove lint from clothes…the list goes on and on! Dave Barry said about it, “Magnetism is one of the Six Fundamental Forces of the Universe, with the other five being Gravity, Duct Tape, Whining, Remote Control, and The Force That Pulls Dogs Toward The Groins Of Strangers.” While G. Weilacher said, “One only needs two tools in life: WD-40 to make things go, and duct tape to make them stop.”
When I was 5, I contracted Rheumatic Fever, an inflammatory disease that occurs follows a bout of things like strep throat. It can impact the joints, skin, heart and brain. I was in the hospital for a month, in bed at hour for some time after that, and had to learn to walk again. Because of all that, I was rather late starting Kindergarten- I didn’t start until after Christmas! When I first started, I was not even allowed to play outside. So when the other kids went out for recess, I had to stay in and watch them. It was NOT fun! I also didn’t know anybody. The other kids had the entire first semester to meet people and make friends, so I was definitely “behind the curve” when I got there. But that changed rather quickly.
My youngest son and I were planting flowers the other evening (we waiting until after dinner to try and avoid the heat…it was MILDLY successful!) We planted several flowers in the flower bed we have in our front yard. When we were done, we had several flowers left over (amazingly enough…all part of my plan!) so we carried them around back, lugged them up the stairs and put them on the deck. Then, we set out to plant our tomatoes. I have tried what I call “Pot Tomatoes” ( and NO…it has NOTHING to do with any illegal substances, but instead means I plant them in big…ready?…POTS on the deck!) the past few years, with VERY limited success. So…I have officially jumped on the Topsy-Turvy bandwagon! Yep, I went to the local Wally-World and bought three of them. I ALMOST left without buying tomato plants. (The Topsy-Turvy is rather useless without the actual plants!)
In the United Methodist system, the country is broken down by Jurisdictions. The jurisdictions are broken down by Annual Conferences. The Annual Conferences are broken down by Districts. The Districts are broken down by Clusters. The Clusters are broken down by Charges. And the Charges are broken down by individual congregations. (And individual congregations are broken down by arguing and backbiting! Boo-Doom-Ching! Oh, I’ll be here all week! Try the veal! Tip your waitresses!) No, seriously, us United Methodists never met a structure we didn’t like. (We are, after all, METHOD-ists!) Well, if you noticed, in the midst of that list was the Annual Conference. In my case, the Annual Conference is basically the entire state of Illinois south of Chicago. And every Annual Conference is governed by a Bishop, who serves as the spiritual leader of the Annual Conference. For a time a few years ago, the resident Bishop would come to every District once a year and meet with the clergy. It was intended to be a time of prayer a sharing, as well as an opportunity to take care of any “housekeeping” that needed attention.
Johnny’s preschool class went on a field trip to the local fire station. The firefighter giving the presentation held up a smoke detector and asked the class: “Does anyone know what this is?” Johnny’s hand shot up and the firefighter called on him.”You know what this is?” “Yes! That tells Mommy when supper’s ready!”
I recently had an appointment with…a Federal Investigator! A former parishioner has applied for a job that requires Federal security clearance, so this gentleman is doing a background check and I was listed as a reference. When the gentleman called me to set up the appointment, he sounded like he was about 16 years old! I made the appointment for a couple of days later. That day, he showed up about 4 minutes early, with a freshly pressed and creased pair of pants, a freshly starched white dress shirt and right smart tie! He was much more “business” in person than on the phone, sounding and acting like a…grown up! He showed me the badge (I wonder if they EVER tire of that- it seems it would be pretty cool to be able to flash a badge!) and explained that our conversation was subject to the Privacy Act. I nodded and smiled…as if I actually knew what that meant! (Oh well!)
I take the dog out EVERY morning…about 6:30AM. Within a few minutes either way, you could pretty much set your watch by it. I get up, get the dog’s bed and take it into the the living room (she SUCH a cupcake!), use “the little pastor’s room”, then put her on the leash (she’s a very spirited black lab-English pointer mix and runs off if she get loose outside!) and take her out for her “morning constitutional”. (Do you like all the euphemisms for “bathroom” being thrown about?!) Yesterday, as I stood out in the dewy-wet morning grass, trying to fully wake up and wishing I had about another hour in bed, I heard something. And unlike some sounds you hear that you can’t immediately identify, this sound was EASY to place- it was CLEARLY a woodpecker, rat-a-tat-tatting its way through the quiet morning.
There is a new “initiative” in my town- a small group of doctors, along with a small group of pastors AND the mayor, are trying to put into motion a health initiative that is focused on certain basic approaches aimed at improving the quality of life, even extending life. The idea is to combine sound preventative medicine with spiritual support. It is being offered to the community “at no charge”. (The mayor doesn’t really like to use the word “free”!) Those of us involved in it are very excited about the possibilities and really believe that is can be extremely beneficial to the community as a whole. BUT…we have to get that very same community on board with it before anything else can happen. And that brings me to Tuesday night!
I live in s small town. Well, actually, it’s NOT really even a town. TECHNICALLY, it’s a VILLAGE. (And we ALL know that it takes one to raise a child, at least according to Hillary Clinton!) In our town…excuse me…village…we don’t have Rush Hour. Instead, we have what our mayor calls “Rush 5 Minutes”! Well, recently I was caught in the veritable ONSLAUGHT that IS the Rush 5 Minutes, and as such, I had a whole extra 2-3 minutes to think…and examine life! But…I didn’t! Instead, I began to ponder, of all things, the shift level that is on the steering column of our 2002 Ford Windstar. (I REALLY need a hobby, don’t I?!) As I pondered it, it dawned on me (I mean, I’ve only had the car EIGHT years…why would you think I would have noticed it sooner?!) that the shift lever on my “soccer mom” van is much like our faith! (And you can STOP rolling your eyes…I’ll get there eventually!)
As I clearly (and proudly) state as a function of this blog, I am a United Methodist minister. And us United Methodists are infamous for being rather…shall we say…RESERVED…in our worship style! I have a preacher friend from a another denomination who I once heard say, after a worship service, “That was really a spirited service! I actually saw one of my Methodist brothers take ONE hand out of his pocket!” While that understanding of “us Methodists” is painting with a rather broad brush…there is more than a kernel of truth behind it!!
I recently read an article in the Christian Post entitled Preachers Who Don’t Believe – The Scandal of Apostate Pastors. The gist of the article is that there is a surprisingly high number of clergy in this country who…don’t…believe…in…God. Let me say that again (more for my own benefit than yours)- they DON’T believe in God! As I read the article, I thought to myself, “How can this be?” How can ANYBODY stand up in the pulpit every Sunday and profess Jesus Christ as their Savior and NOT mean it? How can anybody lead worship of God and be pretending?
After 17 years of marriage, a man dumped his wife for a younger
woman. He demanded that he stay in their expensive downtown luxury apartment,
telling her to move out. She agreed, but asked for 3 days alone in the
apartment to pack up her things. He agreed… and left. The 1st day, she packed
her personal belongings. The 2nd day, the movers came and collected her things.
the 3rd day, she fixed herself a marvelous dinner, feasting on a pound of
shrimp. When she finished, she went throughout the apartment, putting leftover
shrimp tails into the hollow shafts of each and every curtain rod. She then
cleaned up and left. Her ex came back with his new girl and all was great…for
a few days. Then it started, slowly but surely…the smell. They tried
everything — cleaning, mopping, airing the place out. They had the vents
checked for dead rodents, the carpets were steam cleaned, air fresheners were
hung everywhere. Exterminators were brought in, carpets were replaced, and so
on and so on. Finally, they had enough, gave up and moved. The moving company
arrived and did a very professional packing job, taking everything to their new
home — including the curtain rods!
We’re in our 2nd
week of looking at things our parents said. Remember this one? “Eat your
vegetables- there are children starving in India!” And of course, our standard
response was…? That’s right! “Great! Send them MINE!” It didn’t fly to well at
my house, either! What about this- “go to your room, and wait ‘til your father
gets home!” George Carlin said that when his mom said told him to go to his
room, he would say, “Great! That’s where all my stuff is!” And when she would
tell him to wait ‘til his father got home, he would respond, “Great! That dude’s
NEVER home!” But the one we are going to look at today is, “You’ll put your eye
out!” Now, let me say right up front- that one scared the bejabbers out of me! I
pictured, rather than damaging the eye, it would, in fact, put it OUT…that the
eye would literally fly OUT of my head and land on the floor! It kept me from
doing LOTS of things! Did you realize that putting one’s eye out is Biblical? Jesus
addresses it in the 5th chapter of the Gospel of Matthew.
Matthew 5:38-42- “You have heard that it was said, ‘Eye
for eye, and tooth for tooth.’ But
I tell you, Do not resist an evil person. If someone strikes you on the right
cheek, turn to him the other also. And
if someone wants to sue you and take your tunic, let him have your cloak as
well. If someone forces you to go
one mile, go with him two miles. Give
to the one who asks you, and do not turn away from the one who wants to borrow
Bored during a long flight, an eminent scholar leaned over and
woke up the sleeping man next to him to ask if he would like to play a game.
“I’ll ask you a question,” the scholar explained, “and if you don’t know the
answer, you pay me $5. Then you ask me a question, and if I don’t know the
answer, I’ll pay you $50.” When the man agreed to play, the scholar asked,
“What’s the distance from the earth to the moon?” Flummoxed, the man handed him
$5. “Ha!” said the scholar. “It’s 238,857 miles. Now it’s your turn.” The man
was silent for a few moments. Then he asked, “What goes up a hill with three
legs and comes down with four?” Puzzled, the scholar racked his brains for an
hour–but to no avail. Finally he took out his wallet and handed over $50.
“Okay, okay, what is the answer?” the scholar asked. The man said, “I don’t
know,” pulled out a $5 bill, handed it to the scholar, and went back to sleep! Paybacks…what
are they again?
This passage appears in the middle of what we know as the Sermon
on the Mount. And let’s admit right up front- this is a difficult passage that
causes many of us some concern. It’s hard to wrap the head around. But 1st century
Jewish people would have understood this Old Testament command “an eye for
an eye” differently than we do. They would not have seen it as God
suggesting they carry out revenge, but instead as a description of controlling
and limiting it. The punishment was supposed to fit the crime. An ancient
Jewish text, the Mishnah, says: “If anyone wounds his fellow, he becomes
liable to compensate the injured party for five different aspects of the
injury: damage, pain, healing, loss of time from work, and insult”. When a
1st century Jewish person heard the expression, “an eye for an eye,”
they would not have taken it literally. Instead they would have translated it
with litigation and compensation in mind. In ancient Jewish culture, a
slap in the face was considered a great insult. When Jesus says we should turn
the other cheek, He’s not so much talk about self-defense. Instead, He’s
referring to an ongoing debate of the day- did “an eye for an eye” actually
apply to being insulted? In this passage, Jesus doesn’t mince words- not always
fighting back might offer opportunities for people to see that perhaps
Christians are more concerned with doing right before God than with
I have always loved the word “oxymoron”. I always assumed it had
something to do with being…well…a moron, so I got mad the 1st time
someone called me an oxymoron. But then I found out it referred to two things
that don’t go together- jumbo shrimp, hamburger steak. So, according to this
passage, an unforgiving Christian is…an oxymoron. In this passage, Jesus asks us to look at a different way of doing
things. If you have computer disks from an old Apple II computer, they won’t
work on a Windows based unit…without some serious conversion. Why? Simple-
it’s the OS…two different operating systems. Jesus commands us to live under
a different operating system than the rest of society: a different way of
thinking, with different values and a different lifestyle. We have
to be willing to be different…sometimes radically different, in the eyes
of the world. Being a follower of Jesus Christ means operating our lives under
the auspices of a different program, motivated by our relationship with
Jesus. That different program, that new operating system, has 3 basic
The 1st component is to be generous with our grace. The issue is
NOT self-defense or non-confrontation. The issue is how we react to insult
and/or injury. In this passage, Jesus is saying, “offer people a measure
of grace.” This approach embodies going the extra mile, giving people the
benefit of the doubt. There IS moderation inherent here- you walk the EXTRA
mile, NOT an unlimited amount of miles. Be tolerant- allow others the room to
be human, to mess up. Jesus basically says, “better to take a little
loss and stay on good terms with others than prove your point and alienate
them.” When we display grace, we are going beyond what’s required. Jesus
encourages us to an attitude of service, of grace, of generosity.
The 2nd component is to be stingy with hatred. Hatred and love CAN
co-exist-the book of Ecclesiastes talks of both a time to love and a time to
hate. Loving an enemy means CHOOSING to let our Christian love override our
feelings of hatred.
The 3rd component is to value God’s influence in our lives above
the influence of others. Our heroes, our earthly role models tend to influence
us more than we think, more than we admit. We see singers, actors, sports
celebrities…and we want to emulate then.
But we should instead aim to be more like God and less like the people who
populate our TV screens. Jesus calls us to be generous with our grace, stingy
with our hatred, and aim at the RIGHT target: following God.
We seek revenge when we think justice hasn’t been served. In this
passage, Jesus offers us the solution to that desire for retaliation- turn the
other cheek, give more than is required, go the extra mile, show mercy to those
less fortunate. We have a higher calling in life than revenge. Why? Because
we’re not called to fairness- we’re called to righteousness. We’re called to
service. We’re called to ministry. We are called to be a living testimony to
God’s mercy. Christianity is a 2nd mile religion. To love your neighbor is the 1st mile-
to love your enemy is the 2nd mile. To bless those who bless you is the 1st
mile- to bless those who curse you is the 2nd mile. To do good to those who do
good to you is the 1st mile- to do good to those who hate you is the 2nd
mile. Praying for those who pray for you is the 1st mile- praying for those who
curse you is the 2nd mile. As Christians, we are asked to live in the 2nd
mile. The 2nd mile is the Witnessing Mile. The 2nd mile is the Sacrificial
Mile. The 2nd mile is the Commitment Mile. The 2nd mile is the Sowing Seeds
Mile. The 2nd mile is the Healing Mile. It means rising above the desire
to “get even”. It means swallowing your pride and self-interest. It
means being slow to anger and quick to forgive. It means living by grace, even
when life is unfair. Jesus went the 2nd mile for us, are you willing to go
that 2nd mile for Him? Are you willing to commit your life to God? Are you
willing to take that extra step? Are you committed to live in the 2nd
Thanks for stopping by- I pray you have a blessed Sunday. Please make sure and stop by again tomorrow, and stick with Jesus!
Today is Armed Forces Day. In the U.S., it is celebrated on the 3rd Saturday in May. It comes near the end of Armed Forces Week (2nd Saturday of May to 3rd Sunday of May). Armed Forces Day was created in 1949 to honor Americans serving in the five U.S. military branches – the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, and Coast Guard. The 1st Armed Forces Day was celebrated by parades, open houses, receptions and air shows. The longest running Armed Forces Day Parade in the U.S. is held in Bremerton, WA- today they celebrate their 61st consecutive Armed Forces Day Parade.
A while back, I wrote a piece about a lock-in I helped host. Today, we go from lock-IN to lock-OUT! When I got to church yesterday morning, my Office Administrator met me at the top of the stairs coming in the building with this cryptic question, “Have you had problems with the lock on the office door?” Well, I have never been mistaken for a rocket scientist…but I DO know that kind of question is “code” for “I can’t get the office door unlocked”! As it turned out, I DID have problems with the lock then night before, but got it opened and so chalked it up to “operator error”!
I was mowing the lawn the other day (I told my oldest son, when he graduated from college last week, “I’m sure going to miss you…now I’M going that have to mow the lawn!), and something dawned on me…the lawn is actually NEVER mowed! My schedule is such that I usually mow the front and side yards one day and the back yard a different day. By the time the back yard is done, the front yard is already well on its way to needing mowing again. And of course, there is the trimming/”weed eating”…don’t get me started on that!
There has been a near epidemic in my church of late of people being diagnosed with cancer. It feels like every day, someone new calls me or comes by the church and tell me how they, or their spouse, or their parent, or someone else near and dear to them has cancer. Age, gender, socio-economic status…makes no difference. It appears that cancer is an equal-opportunity offender- everyone is welcome and no one is safe. And so person after personal makes the pilgrimage to the oncologist and begins the journey that seems to inevitably lead to chemo and/or radiation. And, while it can have a profound positive affect on the disease itself, the treatment seems to be as hard on the body as the cancer itself. Folks lose weight, they can’t eat, they tire easily, they seem to lose that…edge…they had before it all started. And while sometimes they pull through, recover, and get back to life, often they do not…and those who love them are left to pick up the pieces of a shattered life.