WORDS OF HONEY
Saturday, December 03, 2016
"Gracious words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones." Proverbs 16:24
My cancer treatment has lasted little over a half a year, but now, after surgery and chemo/immunotherapy infusions, I finally get to imagine my hand opening the door leading to the next and final phase of fighting cancer – monitoring phase. During this phase, even though I will have to undergo ongoing cancer scans, I will no longer have to visit my oncologist on a regular basis. And despite this being the second time of fighting cancer (first diagnosis was in November 2013), I look forward to living life again, while keeping my cancer in remission for a very long time.
So, what do I write about now?
Well, I’m not sure how much longer I will be journaling on this blog site. The time spent journaling about my experience has not only allowed me to reflect on the many aspects of my life’s meaning and purpose through cancer, coupled with the realization of the importance of relationships, but by writing down my clinical journey as a cancer patient it has unearthed an intrinsic desire to continue writing. And through journaling, I’ve been able to embrace the lessons learned from this experience, and hopefully…with some small success…project what I’ve learned into my daily life and work activities. Indeed, my fight against cancer has definitely given me new perspectives on the existential meaning of my life, a transformed attitude towards life, and especially a renewed awareness of God’s presence, which altogether realized within each word that I typed on the screen.
The impact of your words
While the process of journaling proved to be therapeutic in many ways throughout my cancer treatment, I would be remissed if I did not take into account the tremendous benefits from the heartfelt comments posted on each blog. In was in these comments – your words – that continually lifted my spirits, especially during times when I felt at my lowest. Moreover, your words not only buoyed my spirits to keep fighting against cancer, but your words seemed to arrive at a timely moment when I needed to hear from a friend. Your words were like a “honeycomb, sweet to my soul and healing to my bones” (Proverbs 16:24), soothing the reckless piercing words from an unwise tongue (Proverbs 12:18).
I remember one day, heading out the door for work, still feeling slighted by some hurtful words said to me the previous day, my wife asked me if I wanted to pray.
“I rather not pray to God!” I said in an objectionable tone, thinking…it’s bad enough that I have to undergo cancer treatment, why can’t rude people just leave me alone.
As I darted down the hallway toward the elevator, I began to feel convicted regarding my response to Teresa.
I then turned around and entered back into our home.
Teresa looked at me and smiled.
I gently took her hands into mine and began to pray, asking Him for patience and wisdom when walking in the world, especially when dealing with rude people. At the end of my prayer I said, “Lord, if You don’t mind, I would love to hear from You today.”
I kissed Teresa good-bye and left in order to catch the bus.
Once boarded, I found an empty seat, sat down, and reached into my business bag for my iPhone to check emails. As I scrolled down the list, there was one that brought tears to my eyes.
I thought…He heard my prayer!
That one email was from my Uncle, and it read:
“I’m very proud of you because of the way you fought the cancer and went through all the agonizing and painful treatments without complaining. I can’t imagine how sick they must have made you feel. But I’m sure they did!! The most impressive way you reacted was by not reacting. I sure most of the reason was to minimize Teresa’s fears. My hero!!! I'm sure GOD had a hand in it also.”
The essence of my words and actions are driven by the inner depths of my gratitude for all the supportive and heartfelt words bestowed upon me, like the e-mail above from my Uncle, which was sent to me at the moment when I needed to hear from God.
Please know your gracious comments and heartfelt words have more impact on me than you probably realize.
Now, it’s time for me to pass forward of what was given to me.
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