Glancing into the conference room as I walked by, I noticed Julie on the cell phone with a tissue clutched in her hand. I quietly closed the door so she could have more privacy. I stuck my head in her office door an hour later and offered to pick up something for lunch for her and heard the news that her mom was just diagnosed with lung cancer. Her mom lives several states away and I knew exactly what to do to help lift her mom’s spirits.
A few months ago, I had stumbled across an amazing website and signed up to be a “Chemo Angel”. On www.chemoangels.net, I filled out a survey on my interests and was soon matched up with a chemo patient. Weekly letters, little jokes and Bible verses flew through the mail signed by “Angel Nancy”. Through the tips on the website, I got ideas on inexpensive gifts to send (many that fit right in the letter-size envelope) and suggestions on things to write about, and also things NOT to write about. My job was to lift my assigned patient’s spirits and to temporarily take her mind off what she was going through.
If you do a search on the internet for Christian jokes, you’ll have a never-ending supply of smiles for your patient. I linger at the stickers’ department area of the store now (after reassuring my 14-year old son they were not for him) and look for the silliest stickers I can find. These are placed randomly on the jokes and envelopes, which make those envelopes unmistakable who they are from each week as they sit in her postal box waiting to make her smile. Never paying attention to postcards in the store in the past, I now used those when I came across a Bible verse that I thought would encourage her.
Do you know someone with cancer and feeling a little helpless because you feel you’re too far away to help? When you want to do more than just keep them on your daily prayer list, I encourage you to become their “Chemo Angel”. And if you are blessed to not have anyone you know right now who is ill, then I encourage you to check out the Chemo Angel’s website and consider becoming an “angel” yourself!
As Christians, we are the hands and feet of Jesus here during our time on earth. And just 15 minutes a week can make a huge difference in someone’s life as you temporarily lift them up and remind them they are prayed for and loved during this frightening time.
Matthew 25:36-40 “I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me. Then the righteous will answer him, 'Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?' The King will reply, 'I tell you the truth, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of mine, you did for me.'”