A Joyful Day at Chemotherapy

5.30Thursday, May 30

By Nancy Hylton of Seattle, Washington, USA

How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of the messenger who announces peace, who brings good news, who announces salvation, who says to Zion, “Your God reigns.” Listen! Your sentinels lift up their voices, together they sing for joy…

—Isaiah 52:7–8

My mother remarried many years after my father passed away. We recently learned her new husband’s stage-four cancer, which had been in remission, had begun to metastasize. He has an exceptional oncologist, and yesterday he had his first day of treatment, not to cure, but to try to give mom and “dad” more precious time together.

I prayed, “Lord, help me find practical ways to hold them up in this uncertain future.” I joined my sister and them at the chemo session. I have no doubt that God answers prayer and, in this case, in most remarkable ways!

Yesterday, in what I can describe only as a desperate medical treatment, we shared together in one of the most joyous family companionship days I can remember since mom and dad’s blessed wedding day.

We laughed frequently and felt warmth in that tiny clinical room despite complex machines and multiple bags of poison dripping into his body. He was teasing, playing with words, and joking. When the nurses figured him out, they caught the joke “infection” and joined in the fun. He set aside his suffering and lifted his voice in joy.

He is a remarkable man with a positive witness. We looked at family pictures, talked of our many blessings, prayed together, and experienced overflowing cups of God’s joy and love throughout the eight-hour treatment. God blessed us beyond measure!

As I was driving home, I realized I was privileged to be part of a remarkable experience. I thought of the many people I saw alone that day in the same condition. What an opportunity for ministry. Are you aware of someone who is going through a similar experience? Will those who suffer be left alone? As a people with a mission to end suffering, we need to intentionally focus our listening skills and become the hands of Jesus.

Prayer for Peace
God who suffers with us, help us be present for others. Help us develop listening skills, a comforting witness, and a sense of peace to share with those who suffer.

Spiritual Practice: Offering Blessings of Community
Receive and share Blessings of Community. Begin with a prayer of gratitude for the relationships in your life. See and feel connections with family members, spiritual friends, people in your congregation and community, and people and creatures in God’s sacred web of life. Reflect on the call to be “Community of Christ.” Discern what act of blessing you are invited to complete and how you can reach out to those who are alone.

Peace Covenant
Today, God, I will respond to those who suffer, one lonely person at a time.

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