Traveling to promote The Little Way Of Ruthie Leming, I’ve seen and heard a lot from the lives of strangers who are living with cancer, or other serious kinds of pain and suffering. I’ve seen how much the human connection means, even if it’s a connection with someone you don’t know at all. There’s something about knowing that someone else understands at some level what you’re going through. This is how Ruthie’s story is forcing me to grow, and to push past my own fears, my own insecurities, and to try to help people as I would want to be helped. This is a new thing for me.
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about my old friend M., who lives in Amsterdam. She was diagnosed a few years back with cancer, suffered terribly, but went into remission. The cancer is back now, and she’s got a very difficult fight ahead of her. Being on the road with Little Way, I kept thinking about her, and how we haven’t seen each other in 11 years, and how we’d more or less lost touch these past few years. I thought about how much she meant to me earlier in my life, and for a long time, before starting our own separate families, the distance, the disease, and just the passage of time, caused us to drift apart.
I found myself wanting to see her and tell her how much I love her. And then I got a note from her saying that she’s about to have to start a new treatment, because the old chemo is not working anymore. She said she got a copy of Little Way, and is not reading it, but rather “inhaling” it. She needs to read about Ruthie, and the path she walked.
Last night, with this on my mind, and with Jamie Navarre’s struggle in my prayers, I did something I’ve never done: I checked to see if I had enough frequent flyer miles for a round-trip ticket to Amsterdam, found that I did, and on the spur of the moment booked a ticket. So I’m going later this month to visit my old friend, and laugh with her, and talk about the good times we’ve had together, and the good times to come. Maybe we’ll eat pancakes. I think we’ll eat pancakes.
M. is excited that I’m coming. I’m excited that I’m going. We don’t know what tomorrow is going to bring, but we have today, so let’s make the most of it. This is the day the Lord has made; rejoice and be glad in it.