My world was rocked a couple of weeks ago when one of my gym buddies suddenly died. Tamara was 52, lean, strong, fit as an Olympian except for the evil beast known as breast cancer.
Most people at our gym had no idea she was ill. Her workout routine never changed. The Chemo treatments and pain of the tumors never slowed her down. She maintained her upbeat, friendly, others focused attitude and demeanor up to her final breath. She even gave her mom a thumbs up and a smile before the morphine mercifully allowed her to fall into a deep sleep.
The tumors aggressively grew and spread, eventually taking over her entire body, but they never touched her outlook, her mindset or her soul. Tamara won.
Many have wondered and asked how did she do it? How did this happily married, mother of three young adult children look evil square in the eye and not blink, not give in to the fear or the ‘woe is me’ mindset.
For many years, Tamara began her day spending one to three hours with God, reading scripture, reading devotionals, listening to music, podcasts, journaling and prayer. She and God were friends. She and the Resurrected Jesus were tight.
Who do you know that is battling some form of cancer? Maybe a cancer has infected their marriage, their attitude or their mindset? Maybe the tumors of indifference or depression have overtaken them. Maybe you know someone who is lonely, new to town or adjusting to some new reality that is more challenging than they ever imagined.
Who do you know that would benefit from becoming friends with God, being tight with the Resurrected Jesus?
In most gyms, people walk around with earbuds or headphones blaring into their ears. They nod when people walk by but there is little real conversation. I have noticed a huge change in our gym since Tamara’s departure from this earth. People are taking out their ear buds and checking in with each other. Her death has reminded us that relationships matter and we are all going through something.
I plan on inviting lots of folks to Easter this year and I hope you are too. All around us people are suffering with some form of cancer, physical, mental, emotional, relational, even spiritual. There is only one permanent remedy, a relationship with the Resurrected Jesus.
Take out your earbuds. Take off your headphones. Get off the treadmill of your life. Take the time to get to know the people around you. Ask questions. Listen to their story. And be ready to invite them to join you for Easter. Who knows, your invitation may be the very thing God uses to prepare them to look Evil Square in the eye and win.
I am praying for you. Please pray for me.