Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: LUST (all-consuming desire; excessive craving) (01/08/15)
TITLE: Some Cinnamon and a Rose Peddle
By John Esposito
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Ryan is my 8 year old nephew.
“Did you hear about Sarah?”
“I’ve heard a lot of things about Sarah, what did you hear?”
“She’s dying and she’s going to go to heaven. My mom said it’s the most beautiful place ever and that Sarah won’t be in pain anymore. She said she will be happy and free again.”
I can’t imagine what my brother and sister in-law are going through, seeing them with all that pain and anguish on their faces. Two months ago Sarah was a beautiful 18 year old nursing student ready to heal the world and studying for her final exams.
A few headaches later and a trip to Yale New Haven Hospital confirmed that her exams were going to be final. The Majestic Physician has made other plans for her. There is nothing more that Yale can do for her and now its time to make arrangements with hospice.
The tumor that they removed a week before Thanksgiving has returned. It has grown ten percent in a three week period. It is smothering her brain and working its way to other areas as well.
It’s more aggressive now than it was before and has no plans of showing any mercy. And even though we don’t understand this, we have the love of Christ on our side. And we have the grace of God showering down on us to comfort us during these times of need.
It’s tough when someone you know has to take one for the team. It hurts though when that team is yours. So now we just sit and wait. And trust that your faith will carry you through this.
Trust that even though we don’t understand any of this. We have to trust that the Lord knows what He’s doing and that there’s a reason for all of this.
Trust that two shell shocked parents are listening to you while you’re trying to share your faith with them. Explaining how to, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding.” - Proverbs 3:5NIV. That’s easier said than done when that’s not your child lying in that bed.
As sad as this is, it’s inspiring to see the passion and love that surrounds Sarah. Inspiring to see how this has consumed her parents. Clawing and grasping at anything to try and save her. Talking and praying over her and lusting after some kind of miracle.
The walls in her hospital room are covered with get well cards and well wishes. Artwork drawn and colored by all of her little cousins with lots of I love you’s written all over them. Stuffed animals are all over the room and sharing some of the homemade blankets and prayer shawls that have been sent to her.
There is also a table top Christmas tree wrapped with a string of clear lights. Cut out ornaments made from Christmas cards. Ribbons and bows from fruit baskets are hung like garland. Crosses are hanging from her IV machine.
Christmas afternoon my wife and I went to see Sarah to wish her Merry Christmas. I brought with me a small Tupperware bowl and some goodies from home. I opened my bible to James chapter five and Ryan and I read verses 12-16.
We took some olive oil, some cinnamon, and a pinch of vanilla. We took some ground sweet basil from my garden, a flower from a gold fish plant, and a rose peddle. We then mixed it all together.
Ryan decided that it needed a little more of this and a little more of that. He really liked the smell of the basil and cinnamon combination. Finally after tasting it and giving it his approval, the anointing oil was ready.
With just the immediate family in the room we layed hands on Sarah and we prayed. Ryan took his thumb and dipped into the oil. I took his hand and guided it to his sister’s forehead and we made the sign of the cross. Together we all said, “In the name of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit for ever and ever, Amen.”
Anointing a child standing at the gates of heaven, best Christmas present ever!
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