They are the words that change lives. The doctor looks over the data and sits down with your family only to tell you that you have cancer. This cancer is an aggressive cancer and will need to be treated with drugs that will kill the cancer, but also seriously damage your body. This is devastating news to people. It is news that is hard to swallow and process. It changes perspectives and directions of lives. My life was without too many interactions with cancer. In fact, to me cancer was a strange life force that did some bad things to a body. I had no idea what it looked like up close.
Last year, I started to have my eyes opened to it. A boy in my youth group was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer and I was thrust into a front row seat for his treatment. It is hard enough trying to help other students understand cancer, much less my own children who were also trying to understand what this cancer was in his body. Of course, once I walked into the Jimmy Fund Clinic and saw the countless children who are suffering with some form of cancer, I was overcome with sadness. I remember one of my first times at the clinic I saw a young boy walking around with his chemo drugs being wheeled behind him. This boy reminded me of my young son. It was during that time that we also had our 4th child and I went to another appointment and saw an infant being treated for cancer. With so much suffering, it is hard to know what to think. I know it did make me appreciate my healthy children and also broke my heart for the people who suffer.
My kids have been praying and doing whatever they can to wrap their minds around the severity of cancer. We have done all we can to help them see that while we can’t control the outcome of it, we can petition the God who can. We also can be an advocate and involved in the process to help people who are going through these horrific treatments know that they are not alone.
So, when the school sent home information about a Pan Mass Challenge for kids I knew my two older boys would want to do it. They solicited some donations for the ride and rode last Saturday at the elementary school. They rode for people who are fighting for their lives. As I watched, I was so proud of them for their willingness and desire to be a part of this. We did not make them do this. They wanted to because they want to see cancer disappear. It makes me emotional to think about.
This illustrates exactly what I mean when I talk about “No Throw Aways.” We give, we serve, we love other people because we have been given a life to live. There are no wasted days. There are no wasted times. We are not to view days as throw aways, we are to be a blessing to other people and bring God glory. These sorts of events go on all over the place. Perhaps you can find a way to get involved. I know that I went through many years without even thinking about it, never realizing the sheer magnitude of people who are going through treatments. My eyes have been opened, my kids’ eyes have been opened and I pray that many more people will be able to see the broken lives around them. This is what Jesus calls us to do and when we serve He is magnified.
It is not too late to get involved in this fundraiser. You can follow the link and support them. (here) But, even that is not the point of this post. I just hope that you take a few minutes to look at the needy people in your community and look for a way to bless them. It might not be cancer, it might be loneliness. But, when we stop to see the people around us, God blesses and people are touched. We can make a difference!
What have you been involved in for people who are hurting? Are there any organizations that you have worked with that really do a great job at this? I would love to hear your story! Below is a short video from the event. I hope you are blessed by it.