Our sunday school class is something else. Today is another one of those days that hits the bullseye on what makes our class special. Remember my friend Dottie, who has all those kids she homeschools and has been battling cancer for 9 years? She came into our class today (she usually teaches a children's sunday school class - my boys' class) and shared her most recent health situation. She was recently tested to see how her newest chemo is working. It isn't. The cancer is growing. It has spread to her skull and she fears it going to her brain. You know how it is, the more a person talks, the more stuff you learn about them? She said that 8 years ago they gave her 6 months to live. God has given her 8 years, so far. But the doctor said that this time is probably it. She is running out of chemo's to do. She's been through at least 8 of them, she says. Her kids think this is just another chemo change. She has told them that they are running out of chemos. She said that this week she is going to talk to each child individually. She says she feels she has 8 years worth of stuff to teach them and has wasted the last 8 years. I'm sure she hasn't - but a person feels what they feel. And do you ever feel you are done with your kids? She says that she has to decide what to do next - in the past she has been taking the hardest hitting chemos, but now they may take a different route, to suppress hormones. I know what you are thinking, because I'm thinking it too - that should have been done right off the bat...but I don't know her situation - I'm sure the doctors know best.
Anyway, instead of doing our lesson, we cried and prayed with her. And then sent her off to teach her class - while we discussed our meal ministry to her and another ministry we are doing. Sometimes you just have to care for the family and set the lesson aside for the day.
And to think I was getting a little (just a little) grumbly that I was doing the meal thing so frequently...Now I think I"m not doing enough!! I know I'm not...
And the irony of it all. After she left, a lady came in to the class and gave me a rose plant. See, between the early service and sunday school there is a break and tables are set up with snacks for fellowshipping. The ladies had done pink snacks and pink decorations in honor of - you know it - breast cancer awareness month. So, as being a survivor, I got a beautiful Victory Rose.
How can I feel victorious when one of our sisters is losing the battle? :*(
So, I'm doing this Bible study on Daniel, and we recently did the Shadrach, Meshack and Abednego story - you know, thrown into the fiery furnace. And we went over three scenarios of when people of God face a fiery trial: you can be delivered from the fire (as in, "it's not cancer") - your faith is built. Or you can be delivered through the fire (as in, "it's cancer" but you beat it) - your faith is refined. Or, case 3, you are delivered by the fire into his arms - your faith is perfected. That's where Dottie is, or soon to be.
This has been a very important study for me, and the timing is incredible. Because Dottie's situation has really made things real to me. Too real. Thinking and crying and facing reality is good. Real good. It makes life meaningful and focused. Can you be focused and standing back and seeing the big picture at the same time? Well, there you go.