You Just Never Know

Why do we go where we go? Why do we do what we do? Why do we make any of the decisions we make in life? There are no easy, simple answers to any of those questions. But there are times when we go, do, and make choices that turn out to be so clear; they must surely be ordained of God. That happened to me tonight, and I love being able to share it with you here in The SAND Room, as we Search And Notice the Divine.

Tonight is a rainy night in the town where we live. It is a night that is better spent at home by the fire, which is one of my favorite places to be. But I got an email earlier today from work. It was a request for anyone that was not scheduled to work tonight, to perhaps come in for an hour, just an hour, that is all. Now, normally, that hour in the evening would be for what we call a “Pep Rally.” Working at SportClips, everything is given a sport’s-themed name. The meetings where we conduct business are no exception. The “Team” meets at the “Pep Rally” to discuss the “Five Point Play” and other aspects of our work. Normally, nighttime meetings put a damper on my day, knowing I have to go out just when I’m starting to settle in. Today was different though, I looked forward to the evening at work until it got close to time to leave and the warm fire called… But I knew I couldn’t stay home. This was too personal. When you read on, you’ll know why.

A group of high school athletes were getting their head’s shaved…not for a sporting event. They were standing alongside one of their teammates who was recently diagnosed with cancer. His hair was starting to thin, and they didn’t want him to be alone in that. So, in they came, these tall, good looking, full-of-life teens. One by one they sat in the chairs and hair started falling to the floor. The first young man I did was a blond, and as I asked him about this experience for his friend, I found out he was actually the young man with cancer. I was so thankful that I was the one to cut his hair. I didn’t mention that I was familiar with the battle he had just entered into. I just asked him about his story, knowing it’s always a bit “uncomfortable” since my son is no longer with us. But later I did get to talk with his mom, sharing with her that Phil, too, had battled cancer. When she asked me how Phil was doing, I answered, “He lives in Heaven now.” Both of us had a bit of tearing up, but we mainly just hugged and knew that we understood something that most in the room didn’t…that as moms we would do anything to not have to see our children suffer like this. It was surely a Divine appointment to spend those brief moments with her.

I always remember something from years ago—that Searching And Noticing the Divine can be found in a smile. I thought about that tonight, so I smiled, a lot, for that mom. Years ago, when Phil was in the fight for his life, I saw a friend across a room, smiling. Her son had been gone a little over a year. I remember thinking, “If this cancer does take Phil, I will be able to smile again one day, because I see that she can.” Her smile gave me Hope in that moment that life could go on. This evening, as we moms watched hair falling to the floor, maybe some of her fears dropped away, also. You just never know… But Jesus does, and I know that Jesus will see them through whatever it is they now must face. These young men came in with heads full of hair, and they left all of us with hearts full of love for their friend.

This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us.
And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers and sisters.

1 John 3:16 (NIV)