I was talking to Steve (a man I didn’t much respect) about his daughter Caroline’s diagnoses and what he said struck my heart and soul. Caroline was three and just diagnosed with leukemia. My son, George, was her playmate. Both families were scared and without hope, except for Steve. Steve grew up in the church but had fallen away. When his daughter came down with leukemia, his faith went alive again. The things he said about hope and grace and mercy were beyond my explanation. He showed strength that I desired and he talked about how Jesus was the answer to this peace he was feeling. I was dumbfounded and actually started seeing him as a man with TRUE authority. How can this be? I didn’t like this guy and now he seemed ok. He was bearing his soul and I was captivated. All summer I watched him closely to see if this peace wore out, to see if he cracked under pressure of his daughter’s illness. He didn’t and my heart continued to soften.
September 11, 2001
My son, George, and I had breakfast plans at my friend Gretchen’s house. She had two sons that George loved to play with. I didn’t grow up at all in the church, but that morning I had this overwhelming feeling to take a moment and pray. George was sleeping in, so I took the time sit and pray.
God, I pray that you give me the strength and peace to see the world as you see it today. I pray for my son and my husband. I pray for my friends and my family. I pray for this city and our nation. Help us to see you today. I pray for this world and all the nations. Let me see you, please give us strength…
George woke up and we went to Gretchen’s place. We had a wonderful breakfast and the kids were playing well. Gretchen’s mom called from Germany and asked us if we had the TV on, she said something horrible was happening in NYC. We turned the TV on and there it was, the first tower had already fallen, we stood in disbelief as we watched the second tower go down.
That day the Holy Spirit entered my heart, that day as we watched the event. I remembered my prayer and said to myself, “Only God can take away all this pain!”
Jesus did a 180 on my life and He can do a 180 on yours anytime…just keep a soft heart.
Written By: Sarah Holbrook,
Cypress UMC Director of Communications