By Brenda Black
Prior to last Saturday, I had never noticed how many bricks pave the Butler, MO, square. Sure, I noticed the thumping vibration under car tires every time I drove those roads during the past 30 years. But I hadn't stopped to consider the quantity. When you lap the courthouse 28 times, you begin taking account – of each brick... each step...every puddle and piece of gravel. More than the bricks under my Nikes, I counted the blessings of such a beautiful day for so many beautiful lives.
It was a perfect day. For some a miraculous day. Last Saturday, as I walked in support and to help raise funds for cancer research, dozens more walked as survivors. When my feet ached, I thanked God for feet to walk. When my knees ached, I thought of the pain that cancer patients have endured. When my pony tail flapped in the cool breeze, I thought of all the beautiful women who lost their flowing tresses to cancer treatment. When my hips hollered, “How much more of this?” I thought of the hours that cancer patients spent in sick beds or the hours lost in lives cut short.
With great ease, we can slip into our lives of comfort and quickly forget that others fight for every moment. Though I do not bear the burden of a deadly disease, I live each day in a battle with chronic pain. So the walk I took on Saturday hammered my legs with terrible pain as I padded along, and for the following several days. With rest and care, I'll recuperate and go again. I've gotten used to it.
Still, some ask me how I can keep smiling when I am hurting. It's a choice I tell them. And I truly believe that a happy heart is good medicine and helps significantly. Obviously I am not the only one who chooses joy. As far removed as I am from being able to relate with the fear and horrors of cancer, I can thoroughly appreciate the amazing resilience and positive attitudes of those who choose to live victoriously in spite of that “Big C” wicked enemy!
|Two victorious survivors!|
Relay for Life events are a testimony of the tenacious, a witness to the winners, a dance for the determined and a celebration for the conquerors. I was blessed to participate with the Bates County Cattlemen and CattleWomen's team. And I was compelled to keep moving over those thousands of bricks by the inspiration of all the every-day heroes represented that day.
To everyone who planned the event, to all the teams who contributed, to every care giver, family member and cancer patient, I say God bless! It was worth the hurt to find a cure.
I wonder if that is what Jesus thought when He hung on the cross. He suffered in anguish, enduring horrific pain to cure all mankind from wicked sin. Even before He willingly went to Calvary, Christ explained in every-day terms the higher purpose, the greater good, the incredible joy that would come on the heels of indescribable hurt.
“'A woman giving birth to a child has pain because her time has come; but when her baby is born she forgets the anguish because of her joy that a child is born into the world. So with you: Now is your time of grief, but I will see you again and you will rejoice, and no one will take away your joy.'” (John 16:21-22)
Jesus promised that His pain and the grief of His supporters and followers would one day be met with perfect peace. “'I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.'” (Jn. 16:33)
No matter how sick, tired, or anguished a person becomes, there is hope on the other side of the hurt when Christ bears the pain with us. And He has proven faithful. Jesus Christ proclaimed you worth it and walked a narrow, rocky, lonely, excruciating path to be the ultimate cure. For each one who trusts the Savior, joy will come in full measure. And one day, there will be no sickness or sorrow, but peace and joy and the perfect cure.