“Why, yes, I’m the lady with cancer.” “I’ve seen your signs,” he said. He was talking about the CANCER with CHRIST yard signs that Prince Philip and I put in our yard each week that we host my cancer support group in our home on the 1st and 3rd Thursday mornings.
And that began a short but really meaningful conversation about how God has led me to use the greatest tragedy in my life for perhaps the greatest good in my life.
Turns out the cute young man is a Christ-follower also. He gets together with some other Christians and spends time once a week on one of our Southern California beaches, bringing the love of Jesus to kids who want to learn how to surf. As he told me about it, he made it sound like it was nothing — no big deal. After all, it wasn’t like he was reaching out to people with cancer.
But I was quick to want to correct his assumption and say that we all have something to give away. We all have life experiences, talent, skills, trials, or tragedies that form and shape us and make us who we are … and become what we have to give away.
So tomorrow I get on an plane and fly to Phoenix, Arizona where I’ll have a two-day training from Our Journey of Hope, an outreach of Cancer Treatment Centers of America. Our Journey of Hope provides pastors and ministry leaders with the tools, training and support to raise up cancer care ministries in their churches and communities. Yes, I’ve already established a cancer care outreach but I am anxious to learn more about cancer, cancer treatment and to be with other pastors as we learn from each other about how God wants to convey His love to people who have cancer.
After all, that’s what I have to give away.
I appreciate your prayers for my training and look forward to telling you about it on my return home. And as you pray for me, I’ll pray for you that you’ll discover what life experience, talent, skill, trial or tragedy has formed and shaped you into who you are and that you will learn that God wants to use that very thing to become what you have to give away to others.
All for the sake of the Kingdom of our Christ,
After more than 25 years in parish ministry, Rev. Cathie retired in early 2018 to pursue a quieter life with her husband Philip in the mountains of Central Oregon. Although no longer a leader in congregational life, she continues to follow her calling and passion to minister to those who suffer, especially those with cancer and other life-threatening illnesses.