KOH2RVA: Day 362

orange hairMy new book arrived in the mail yesterday.

Let me be more specific: a new book arrived in the mail yesterday containing some of my devotional thoughts. It’s called Pause: moments to reflect, and it’s published by Passport Media (the same Passport that puts on mission camps for church youth groups each summer, camps that our youth have been attending for years).

Pause is a year’s worth of devotions from Passport’s popular d365 devotional website. A few years ago I was asked to write some of those devotions and this year they showed up in the book.

I had forgotten all about them.

So, what a surprise to open this mysterious package from Passport and find “my” book inside, and then what a surprise to find that the devotions I had written were based on the lectionary readings from last Sunday! Two of them were from the Gospel lesson about how to take your seat at a banquet and who to invite to a dinner party (Luke 14), but then I found this one from Hebrews 13, and it seemed to fit in so well with some of what we’ve been doing on this year-long, every-member mission trip called KOH2RVA that I wanted to share it with you here.

Here it is, from page 374:

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This is one of those passages that haunts me.

The writer of Hebrews says that “some have entertained angels without knowing it.” Can you imagine? What if that homeless man you bought a hamburger for turned out to be a messenger of God? Then again, what if the homeless man you didn’t buy a hamburger for turned out to be a messenger of God?

That’s the part that haunts me.

So, I try to imagine that everyone might be someone God has put in my path, that anyone might have a message from God for me—the old man sitting in his wheelchair at the nursing home, that girl with the bright orange hair and nose ring, the child with the sunken cheeks and hollow eyes. I try to think of all of them as angels without wings, but sometimes I get so busy I don’t even see them.

And that’s what haunts me.

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Let’s keep our eyes open today, friends. There are lots of “angels without wings” in Richmond. One of them may be waiting for a kind word or deed from you.

My Friend Meesha

I’m concerned about my friend Meesha today. 

I’ve had her in my thoughts and prayers for the last few months, but when I opened the Richmond Times-Dispatch today there she was, on the front page of the Metro section, in a fairy costume.

Meesha is 3. 

I got acquainted with her when her parents invited me to have lunch with them more than a year ago.  I love Indian food, and Jerusha outdid herself, cooking up a traditional meal and serving it there in her seminary apartment.  I enjoyed talking theology with her husband Moses while we waited for lunch, but as much as anything I enjoyed watching Meesha moving from one small task to another, her face a mask of concentration, as if she were the one preparing lunch and not her mother. 

Uh-dorable.

So, when I learned a few months ago that she had been diagnosed with cancer, something clutched up inside me.  I started saying prayers then and I’ve been saying them since as I’ve followed her progress on Jerusha’s Facebook page.  Here’s an entry from a couple of months ago:

It’s a beautiful day. Meesha was bright this morning after 12 hrs of her first cycle of chemotherapy and I enjoyed combing her black, silky, shiny hair and clipping her pink bow. I love watching her pop pieces of “tylenol candy” into her mouth any time of the day—day or night. She is slowly getting used to nurses recording vital signs as she sometimes voluntarily lifts her arm to be recorded. She says “beeping” when her monitor beeps and says “don’t cry dada” when her dad weeps.

For those of you not on Moses’ Facebook list, Meesha has Neuroblastoma, Stage 4. Her primary tumor surrounds her aorta and cannot be surgically removed at this stage. Cancer has reached some bones and is aggressive. Our super doctors have aggressively started treatment in wonderful time. We have a long and dreary road ahead of us of 5 different treatments but feel a total sense of calm: we are in the good hands of our cheery nurses and teams of doctors, having access to great technology, surrounded by the love and prayers of every friend and family member.

Hugs to all of you for walking this journey with us sharing in our pain.

I just wanted you to know that I’m walking with you today Jerusha, Moses, and Meesha, and sharing with you in your pain.

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See the slideshow from the Richmond Times-Dispatch by clicking HERE.