An acquaintance would say, “Oh my gosh, that’s terrible. I will pray for him.”
A casual friend would say, “What? You have cancer? What can I do?” And probably never do anything.
A great friend would say, “Cancer? What? How are you feeling? I’ll take the kids to school this week. I’ll make dinner on Tuesday. I’ll pick up your prescription. I’m going to get a fundraiser together.”
A spouse says, “Cancer? How long has this been going on and we’ve been too busy to notice? How are we going to get through this? Am I going to lose him/her?”
The patient says, “What? Huh? Cancer? Am I going to die? Chemo? Radiation? Who’s going to take care of my family? How am I going to pay for this? My boss is going to have a stroke.“ And on and on and on.
You see, being a friend twice removed is a pretty easy position to be in. You just say you’ll pray and that’s it, right? But, perspective makes all the difference. If you’ve never dealt with cancer, you have no idea how it changes every area of your life. Ask anyone who’s had it or had a loved one facing it. It’s horrible. Financial, emotional, physical; everything is impacted. And living in a small town can be a nightmare. You’re suddenly the talk of the town. People talk about you. Stories spread, most of them false. A trip to Krogers is sometimes just too much.
But… living in a small town while facing cancer can also be the most wonderful thing. People in small towns have the best hearts. They are sincere, they are the best cooks, they mean what they say, and when they say they’re praying, you better believe they are – along with 35 people in their Sunday School class.
So, starting now, change your perspective. Put yourself in someone else’s shoes who’s dealing with cancer. Offer to bring a meal. Show up with a basket of snacks and Gatorade for the family. Go and vacuum their house. Stop by for a quick visit – but don’t stay all day. Give them a gas card. Harvest their crop. Have a pizza delivered on a day they’ve been at clinic all day. Or just stop by and listen – really, really listen, to what’s going on with them.
But most of all, DO SOMETHING.
I challenge each of you to step out of your comfort zone and give some real help to someone living with cancer. It will make the load and little lighter and make a huge difference.
Check out more info at www.relayforlife.org.
Relay for Life is Saturday, April 25 beginning at 5 p.m. at Nashville Primary School.