Pink pushes it way among vibrant golds, rusts, and red of our October landscape. Breast cancer survivor stories and fundraisers abound. It is good.
My young friend, Kara, continues to do battle with breast cancer; her stage 4 disease has found its way to her blood, her bones, her brain. She confronts the reality of her days numbered and lives in the beauty of this day.
|courtesy of Jen Lints Photography|
I love this dear woman.
I hurt for her.
I hurt with her family.
And with the many I pray big, bold prayers.
I do my bit. Scripture love flies through cyberspace. I stop at the grocery store, bring flowers and other small gifts, and sometimes prepare a meal. Like lots and lots and lots of her friends do.
Others have loved in their ways. Texting wisdom, speaking truth, ironing, babysitting and much much more.
As I’ve watched Kara’s hard story unfold, as I’ve watched how she lives it, and as I’ve watched the love of her community, three lessons emerge.
First about Kara. Kara lives authentically. She is not afraid to be human. She invites Jesus to speak into her reality. She knows his presence and allows his peace.
She lives out-loud. Through her blog, Mundane Faithfulness, and her best-selling book, The HardestPeace she welcomes us to journey with her. As my friend Trisha said, “I love her book. I feel like she has invited me into her living room and we’re having a chat”. And indeed through her words, she has.
Her cancer story fuels her writing, but her writing is not all about cancer … and it is not all about Kara. It is about Jesus and how he meets her on her worst day, at the edges, and in the impossible. And in her writing she is sharing grace and is discipling her readers. My picture of Jesus is bigger because Kara doesn’t keep her story to herself. Thank you, my friend.
Secondly, my 30-something friend has lots of other 30-something friends. They love her up-close. The massage her feet, they drive her to treatments and stay with her. Literally they climb in bed with her and talk, and laugh, and listen to music, and scheme like mommas do. And sometimes they just listen to the soft breath of her sleeping form.
I’ve learned that sometimes it’s a good thing to be brave enough to crawl into bed with your friend who has cancer.
Lastly, it’s also okay to sit on the edge of her bed, to love from a bit of a distance. It’s okay to love in the way God created you to love. Indeed, it is good.
Kara loves all of us well who are following her story. And we get to love her well too in multitudes of ways, up close or from a distance—what a gift.
“Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends”. John 15:13