So, just when you get a really good pity party started for yourself, isn’t it amazing how God smacks you right upside your hard head? (Hey, I can’t help it, I’m from the south, and 那’s what we would say.) Often, He adds a little “Snap out of it, you idgit!” (Yet another southern endearment.)
I pulled up to our house, shuffled slowly to the door, and took the mail out of the box. In it was a cardboard mailing envelope addressed to me. The return address was from the state of AK. “Huh, maybe our friends from Arkansas sent me something.” I sauntered in the house and decided to open it up. Inside the envelope was a pretty wool hat, seemingly made from the color palette of a fall day. Blues, purples, teals, earth-tones—it was clear 那 someone had made it lovingly 通过 hand. There was a short note enclosed inside:
很抱歉，我没有尽快收到此邮件。我几周前确实完成了这项工作，但后来生活发生了，事情变得疯狂起来，我敢肯定，你知道！我可以想象健康问题和未知因素带来的压力，我只有MS。希望这个小礼物适合我，并伴随着我的祈祷提供温暖和安慰。 <3 Kelli K.
“Wait a minute,” I thought. “I have no idea who this is! Could it be from a former student who has a different married name now?” Even more baffling was the fact 那 I realized AK is actually the abbreviation for ALASKA, not Arkansas (duh). I could not think of a single person I knew in Alaska who would send me such a beautiful hand-made gift, and who sounded as if they knew me well.
I decided the answer could be found on Facebook, the Wonder of Our Existence (or the Bane, depending on the day. That day, it was the Wonder.) I found Kelli and sent her a message, apologizing for not knowing who she was, but thanking her for the gift. She responded, saying 那 she is part of crochet group on Facebook 那 makes hats for family and friends of people who have cancer. Somehow, I ended up on 那 list, so Kelli made a hat for me. For me. For someone across the country in an utterly different time zone.
I was stunned. I had my breast cancer lumpectomy last May, radiation all summer, and had been feeling like life was getting back to normal. My cancer was “over,” in the past. This hat reminded me 那 my experience will never be in the past, and the things I learned about myself will remain branded on my soul forever. I do not want to forget 那 time in my life, even the really painful moments.
Getting this hat also reminded me of why I am a Christian. You see, when you become a Christian, you become part of a network, or a hive, if you will. That network is connected on city, state, national, and even international levels. Christians all over the world pray for each other, simply because it’s what they do. They pray because they are told to pray in the Bible, but 那’s not the only reason they do it: they pray because it feels good to focus on the needs of others instead of themselves for a change. Prayer is more about awareness, compassion, and hope for the well-being of those who need it; it is both an outward action and an inward action.
B-Flat Christian, try to find one of those small things today 那 you can do for someone else 那 just might brighten someone’s day—or even change someone’s life. Whether it is praying for someone, writing them a card, calling them on the phone, or crocheting a hat, do it.
16 永远高兴 17 不停地祈祷， 18 在任何情况下都表示感谢；因为这是神在基督耶稣里为你的旨意。
And, 赶快， she says, over her shoulder, looking
诗的版权©2008，作者：玛丽·豪（Marie Howe），并转载自“When She Named Fire,”编者，安德里亚·霍兰德·布迪（Andrea Hollander Budy），秋天之家出版社，2009年。“普通王国”W.W. Marie Howe着诺顿，2008年。
当作者玛丽·豪（Marie Howe）在NPR上大声朗读时，我第一次听到这首诗’s 关于存在 在 //onbeing.org/programs/marie-howe-the-poetry-of-ordinary-time/.
[我不’不知道为什么这个链接是’没有用，但是如果您进行搜索“Marie Howe 关于存在,”访谈的整个笔录弹出。]
I can relate to the mother in this poem so well; my guess is 那 most mothers can. We spend our lives running (quite literally) from one task, job, chore, errand, children’s activity, meeting, class, rehearsal, party, event… to the next. What often happens is 那 one or more of your children get dragged with you as you decisively mark off each item on your “to-do”清单。您在一整天都处于训练中士模式，说：“Come on honey, we’我得走了……三月，三月，三月！”当然，所有这些敦促都没有使孩子们动起来。不论年龄，要求孩子“Hurry!”就像南方人所说的那样，就像要求不要倒牛奶一样，这是徒劳的。
我正在减慢我的生活，不是我的选择，而是癌症’的选择。癌症已成为我的“parent” in a way, dictating what my next few months are going to be, overturning my schedule-encompassed, productive days. The surprise has been 那 Cancer 确实n’t say “Hurry up,” as the 父母 确实 in the poem above. Cancer steps in, fairly suddenly, always quietly, and says, “请问一下，但是我有一些事情需要您考虑。我有奇迹要告诉你。我有故事要讲。我有耳语的秘密，有经验的愿景。坐下。放松休息。等着瞧。”
就我而言，这是完全提交的行为。从手术中恢复时，您的身体没有选择的余地。您 必须 休息，放开你忙碌的生活。您 必须 lie down in your bed or on your couch. Your job, laundry, vacuuming, the grocery store, errands, exercising, cooking dinner…all the things 那 grasp you until you feel you might be pulled apart, limb from limb, all fall away.
I have made the surprising discovery 那 the earth 确实 indeed keep revolving, even if I have to stop and rest in the day. To be honest, it has been a relief. It has been an excuse to re-learn how to relish the ordinary things in my life 那 I’d forgotten were there. This summer, I will be receiving six weeks of radiation treatments five times a week. That means 那, every day, I will have to pause and do nothing for 在 least fifteen minutes while the treatment is happening. I need to determine what I will think about during those minutes, because time to be still—with purpose—is a precious commodity not to be wasted.
因此，我没有为孩子们安排大量的夏季活动，而是’m going to find things we can do 那 are close to home. Even though they are teenagers, I want to proactively be near my kids. We are going to go on more picnics in our backyard. We are going to watch more movies on Netflix. We are going to pick our favorite board games and have a marathon. I am not going to worry if the kids and I have been productive or not; but we will, I am certain, “produce”价值不一定要权衡或说明的事物。我期待着它。
终于到了-我的乳房切除手术的一天。它’如果你有一种奇怪的感觉’我曾经面对过这个。它’强烈的恐惧和令人不快的期望混合在一起。悬念将过去；不再想知道“tortures” 那 will be inflicted upon you on 那 day.
当我丈夫帮助我穿上医院的袍子时，我感到坚强和准备就绪。他离开我带孩子去上学，向我保证他 ’d be back. I sat twiddling my thumbs, looking around the cubicle 那 had been assigned to me for the day. I checked my e-mail. I adjusted my super-sexy hospital socks. I sent my sister a funny text. I tried not to be irritated 通过 the inevitable waiting. And waiting. And waiting. I sighed and changed positions in the bed and decided to sit in a chair instead. Maybe if I read a book, the speed of time would transform from 那 of a glacier to a kangaroo.
作为一部分“You can do it”好东西，我的姐妹们给了我马克斯·卢卡多（Max Lucado）的一本书，书名是“God Came Near”（W出版集团，2004年）。我没有’还没有真正开始，所以我把它弄出来了。当护士在我的小卧室里忙碌时，我什至没有读过第一句话。“Hello there, I’m琳达（抱歉抱歉）’已经是一个疯狂的早晨，’s not even 8:00!”然后，她在我腿上看了这本书。“Are you a Christian?”她立即问。我说过她说，“Well then, God sent me here today to take care of you. You know 那, don’t you?”我一时无语。这使我完全措手不及。我没有’我没有意识到自己有多害怕，我感到眼泪模糊了我的眼睛，嘴唇颤抖。
琳达笑了，抹去了自己的一些同情的眼泪。“I promise I’今天让您度过难关。一世’跟你说话，握住你的手，无论你需要我做什么。一见到您，我便知道今天可以为您提供帮助。我现在可以和你一起祈祷吗？”
我深吸了一口气，无语地点了点头。我不知道 ’t remember any of her words; all I know is 那 I felt calm and cared for.
Later on, I marveled 在 how I got the reassurance I needed 在 exactly the right time. I appreciated 那 Linda was able to reach out to me, seeing 那 I was distressed, even though I didn’t even know it myself. I was humbled 通过 her ability to unabashedly share an intimate story with me, to ask me questions about my own personal story, and to pray for and with me. Later on in the evening when I had returned home from surgery, I read a phrase in the Lucado book 那 resonated deep within me:
“My prayer for this book—without apologies—is 那 the Divine Surgeon will use it as a delicate surgical tool to restore sight. That blurriness will be focused and darkness dispersed. That the Christ will emerge from a wavy figure walking out of a desert mirage to become the touchable face of a best friend. That we will lay our faces 在 the pierced feet and join Thomas in proclaiming, “My Lord and my God.” And, most supremely, 那 we will whisper the secret of the universe, ‘我们是他ma下的目击者。””（引言，第XX页）。
随访医生又是一个忙碌的一周’的就诊，MRI和另一次活检，更不用说生活的规律性忙碌了。我来了我们的圣经研究小组，与人们放松和欢笑-哦，也去研究圣经（我们当然是说话者！）。之后，一位成员走到我身边，紧紧抓住她怀里的毛茸茸的东西。“Here you go—it’s a prayer shawl. It’祈祷时要放在肩膀上。梅里为你做了这个。”这份礼物的慷慨大度使我感到不知所措，无论是花在制作上的时间，还是制作时所表现出的深思熟虑的精神。
It is one of the most lovely things I have ever touched—light as a whisper, yet warm and snuggly. The colors are earth tones and muted grays; colors of earth, sand, stone. On the ends are silky tassles 那 twirl lightly around my fingers. It is a perfect size, as it can be a lap blanket, or it can drape across my shoulders, as it was originally intended. Even when I am not wearing it, I like to sit beside it and rest my hand on it, rubbing its softly between my fingers, or stroking it with my hand. I am unable to put into coherent words the comfort this beautiful shawl represents for me.
当我将它包裹在我周围时，它虽然很重，但并不沉重，好像有人轻轻地将手臂放在我的肩膀上一样。许多教会成员已经为我做到了。每个星期，他们对我微笑，他们伸出手臂紧紧地扣住我。我认识但并非特别亲密的几个女人都在寻找我来鼓励我。他们握住我的手，直视我，说：“我患有乳腺癌，而且还不错。您也会。” I receive cards in the mail 那 are humorous to make me laugh, or are sentimental and make me teary. I receive e-mails and phone calls from church members, volunteering to help me and my family in whatever way we need.
也许在遇到个人困难时，’t go to church are able to find support and community in other ways. All I know is 那 I have two families: the one 那 I am physically related to, and the one 那 I am spiritually related to. Every morning when I breathe my first breath, I say a prayer of thanks for both of my families, and the fact 那 they continue to wrap me in their sweet embrace.
3每当我记得你时，我都要感谢我的上帝。 4 In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy 5 because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, 6 being confident of this, 那 he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.