Her eyes looked away, distant and sad. Slowly she looked at me again. “They were my friends; I taught their children. The family only did good. They were my friends.”
She knew one of the men killed in Afghanistan on a medical trip. She knew them; not of them. And she is grieving. This man and the other 9 lived cross shaped lives. My friend lives a cross shaped life. She has know suffering through a child’s death and hardship over the years serving Him. Now she knows more suffering through grief and is sharing in it with her friends who husband and father were killed. Those killed were living a cross shaped life. My friend is living the cross shaped life.
My husband and I sat stunned, speechless at the email. Our friend, our daughters’ playmate had been diagnosed with leukemia ALM. She felt ill with a fever and achy legs. After tests and consults, the sad devastating news was delivered. She is now receiving chemotherapy treatment one of 5 or 6.
This child of 6 years response, “Mom and Dad, do I have cancer?” Her parents wept and told her “Yes, Baby, you do.” She told them, “Please don’t be worried.” After her bone marrow biopsy, she woke up and wanted to give the doctor a hug. They know suffering and sorrow. And hope.
Her mom says she wants the reality not to be defined by the fact that her daughter has cancer but she wants her reality to be defined by God who is faithful and good. They are holding on to the Lord and are being carried by all the prayers. They are living the cross shaped life. We are praying; many are praying.
Somehow tonight all the sermons and words I have heard about sufferings of believers and His promises of glory don’t seem so distant. The sufferings are too real. His glory is too magnificent. And as to sharing His sufferings and in His Glory, well, I am counting on it, this hope of things to come.
These people are going to Jerusalem. He knows how their hearts are.
He has been there already.
Jesus took the twelve aside and told them, “We are going to Jerusalem, and everything that is written by the prophets about the Son of Man will be fulfilled.” Luke 18:31