‘And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes; there shall be nor more death, nor sorrow, nor crying; and there shall be no more pain, for the former things have passed away.’
Room 205 was a welcome sight. Visits, conversations, penetrating my thoughts. My mind racing as I made my way down the corridor. ‘Lord, these waves are too high, I am sinking, I’m going to capsize’. Overwhelmed with the fast flowing floods of suffering of those I had left behind, hope gone, the tempestuous winds blowing with great adversity, alone with the anguish of their personal trial, their hearts crushing beneath the pain. Frail bodies (wasting away), voices so weak they reach out just to touch your hand. Is it enough, is it over (for me) when I ‘share a moment’; ‘spend an evening’; ‘show I care’? It can never be over, my heart needs to be fixed, to be settled, even though I question, my faith, my trust will know His leading. Oh the impact, the tranquillity of a loving word, but more importantly, a living word that will cause them to know in their hearts that the Lord is the source and the God of all comfort. I thought of Job: ‘And after my skin is destroyed, this I know that in my flesh I shall see God,’ Job 19: 26. They not only need ‘Daily Bread’; they need ‘The Bread of Life’. Read more
‘Everything that touches the water of this river will live. Fish will abound in the Dead Sea, for its waters will be healed’ Eze: 47: 9.
The promises of God do not offer immunity from earth’s trials. Faith sees the present as sustained by God and sees the future as secure in His sovereign plan and purpose. My friend Marinela and I were reflecting on these things; it was good to renew our close friendship and share our hearts openly before the Lord and before one another. Personal relationships are important but it is an important priority to possess ‘A Heart After God’, a heart seeing the difficulties of today become strengths for tomorrow.
The Hospice Team serve in a wilderness of Terminal Illness yet continue to be a flowing stream of refreshing water. Jesus spoke of a ‘river of living water’ flowing from our heart when He is the source of this water. Emanuel Hospice care for ninety patients each month (a long waiting list) alleviating physical, psychosocial and spiritual suffering. The true heart of those who serve in this team ‘Go Beyond’ the call of duty, improving the quality of life, sharing the love of God, helping them find answers to their many questions as they face difficult situations, burdens, poverty. There are bitter circumstances of life, not easy to bear. Their resources are meagre; what are their prospects for tomorrow? As I visit families, reading the many differing ‘faces’ I see courage of the rarest kind, giving from the ashes of poverty. They are self-respecting people in dire need; yet do they mention their inequality of life? Give With Your Heart Appeal, 2017 has ensured thirty families (carefully evaluated) receive from ‘His Bounty’ offering food and dignity. For many this earthly journey is short. It is a personal choice to ‘Love’, to ‘Follow Our Heart’ and as I think about the remainder of this year and into the next my choice is to love, assured that ‘He knoweth the way I take’. During a recent visit one little boy (being asked if he would like to attend ‘Summer Camp’) turned to me and said: ‘I have been chosen’. Isa 11: 6. ‘A little child shall lead…’ Together we can be a mighty ‘Healing Stream’. Read more
Waiting in the library today, I was thinking about gifted women, their abilities … I heard a gentle whisper ‘Hello, it is me’. Denisa stood before me, her dark eyes gleaming and overflowing with joy. Lillianna (Denisa’s Mum) accompanied her on this visit. We (three) hugged tightly and Lillianna whispered in my ear ‘I am so happy to see you again, thank you for your prayers’.
As we chatted, there was a freshness of conversation: Denisa passed all her medical examinations in the State University and is now volunteering in a local hospital every Saturday and Sunday (1 year contract). ‘I want to help other children, I know what a painful and lonely journey it is’. At Christmas Denisa devoted time and gifts to the children on the oncology ward. Lillianna and her treasured daughter are close, there is a ‘togetherness’ – they have been emptied of self and are now filled with love and gratitude.
It will be two years in July since this journey began and the need for a deep evaluation of her condition will take place during this month. Meantime, one week every month is spent in Italy for tests, medication; the required medication can only be sourced in Italy. It is difficult to bring such large quantities into Romania (last month they had to pay two hundred euros Customs & Excise Duty).
‘But I am still here Sister Shirley, and I thank everyone who prays for me’. ‘Yes, many of my friends at home pray for you every day, the Lord has spared your life as your work is still unfinished’, I replied.
Denisa stands at the crossroads of life, she has such vision, natural talent, commitment. Please continue to remember this young woman of courage.
Yesterday, my husband had occasion to visit Union College. It takes time to browse through the many books on display in this vast library. I chatted to the receptionist, browsed through some books of interest, then moved to a ‘quiet corner’ with one of my ‘chosen treasures’. As I read the title ‘Women Who Have Worked And Won’, my thoughts turned to Denisa and the words of the Psalmist filled my heart ‘What Time I Am Afraid’ ….. suddenly I realised that ‘What Time’ meant ‘Now’. ‘I WILL Trust In Thee’.
As we returned to the car, I felt a shadow across my face. The disappearing blue sky quickly filled with grey thunder clouds; people making their way to QUB Graduation began running for shelter from the torrential rain. I was amazed the speed the storm had gathered. Storms arise in all our lives – a letter, telephone call, disappointment, pressure – some perhaps brief showers, others leave their mark. We have never been promised a life free from storms but He has promised to steer us through until we safely reach the other side. Can’t you hear Him saying ‘Peace Be Still?
Peace is a beautiful word, illustrated as a place of rest, a garden of serenity filled with precious fragrances of His beauty.
The Lord Jesus notices the smallest of offerings, let us serve today in a love offering to Denisa, in the words of the Master ‘Come with me by yourselves to a quiet place, a solitary place’.
Thursday, 7th July, 2016 remember Denisa. It is one year since her Bone Marrow Transplant; vital medical tests are necessary followed by PET & CT scans.
The ministry of prayer can be yours and mine, we can redirect the stream of mercy to Denisa. Let our compassion be active on Thursday.