Friday, May 12, 2006

the cancer crusade

several years ago, at a relay for life leadership summit in california, i had the privilege of hearing roger and kathy cawthon speak. very involved in relay in their own community, they were each diagnosed with cancer within six weeks of one another.

their story is amazing. they supported one another through their year-long treatments and celebrated their survival by finishing the the marine corps marathon. they send out a weekly little e-mail, which always has some good wisdom inside. today's wisdom and prayer, from their message...

The life I touch for good or ill will touch another life,
and that in turn another,
until who knows where the trembling stops
or in what far place my touch will be felt.

-Frederick Buechner

We don't know who the author of this lovely essay is, but it is poignant and powerful, and we wanted to share it with our readers:

Just up the road from our house is a field that is home to two horses. From a distance, they look very much alike, but if you stop your car or are walking by, you will notice something quite amazing.

Looking into the eyes of one horse, you will discover that he is blind. His owner has chosen not to have him put down, but has made a good home for him.This alone is amazing.

If you're close enough and listen carefully, you will hear the sound of a bell. Then you will see that it comes from the other horse. Attached to her halter is a small bell. It lets her blind friend know where she is, so he can follow her.

As you stand and watch these two friends, you'll see that she is always checking on him, and that he listens for her bell and walks slowly to where she is, trusting that she will not lead him astray. When she returns to the shelter of the barn each evening, she stops occasionally and looks back to make sure her friend isn't too far behind to hear the bell.

Like the owners of these two horses, God does not throw us away just because we are not perfect or because we have problems or challenges. He watches over us and even brings others into our lives to help us when we are in need.

Sometimes we are the blind horse being guided by the beautiful bells of those God places in our lives. Other times we are the guide horse, helping others along their own difficult paths.

Please listen for my bell and I'll listen for yours.

Dear God, thank You for the gift of community, for friends and loved ones who are beside me on this difficult journey. Bless them as they struggle to keep me on the path of healing and wellness when I am weak and sick and tired, when my feet stumble and I cannot see the light. And when I come into that light, God, I ask only that you allow me to light the way for others who must walk the same dark path. Thank You, God, for putting all of us here for one another and for allowing Your love to shine through us.

And a few links...
The Cancer Crusade
The Survivor Movie - made by Roger and Kathy, definitely worth a viewing

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