Previous Challenge Entry (Level 1 – Beginner)
Topic: Willingness (02/21/05)
- TITLE: Whatever it Takes
By Sheila Davis
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There is an old Indian proverb that states that we should never judge a person unless we have walked a mile in their moccasins. Strong people, determined people, focused people are willing to do what ever it takes to fulfill their purpose in life. Their moccasins are well worn, but do we understand how they got that way? To our naked eye it is not always obvious what willing sacrifices these people are making. We cannot see the cost to their emotions, spirit, hopes, dreams, and goals.
My youngest brother is now in his 6th year of battling for his life. His enemy is cancer. Neither one of “them” is willing to give up. His will to live is strong.
My brother is a very handsome man – tall, lean, well built, and tan and that’s just his big sister’s opinion. He is a single parent raising his 15-year-old daughter. He also has a 21-year-old son. Last year he was willing to do whatever it took to be alive for his son’s wedding. This meant that he would have to live in isolation and be pumped full of steroids so he would not pick up any “bugs” at the wedding. He gained a lot of weight due to this treatment and was very humbled by his appearance. Because of love he endured this to see his only son marry. This year his goal is to do what ever it takes to be alive to see his grandson born in June.
My brother’s road is not easy. I may not be walking in his tennis shoes, but I’m following along at a safe distance. Far enough away that he can maintain his dignity and close enough that he can experience my love and support. Close enough to see what his willingness to live is costing him. It is not pretty. Early on the doctors discovered that traditional treatment was not working for my brother. It didn’t help that he began treatment at stage IV. Now he is part of the throngs of very ill patients and he experiences all the nasty side effects of chemotherapy. The first time he lost his hair he made light of it. He quickly learned that he can count on pain, nausea, vomiting, failing vision, and fatigue. Countless days are spent hooked to an IV. Sometimes the goal is to build up his blood cells; always the goal is to kill the cancer cells. It’s a real science, trying to kill the enemy without destroying the patient at the same time.
I have another friend who is closer than my brother. I find I cannot walk in his sandals either; in fact I am not worthy to untie them. He teases me about that and assures me that when the path gets rough he will pick me up and carry me. I’ve found that to be the truth. I will be eternally grateful for all that he was willing to go through so that I could live. He willingly left his kingdom, his status, his power, his honor and limited himself to the typical life of a human such as myself. For the first time he experienced first hand how I feel when I am hungry, thirsty, tired, in pain, lonely, not accepted, different, happy, sad, hot, cold, rejected, betrayed, loved. His compassion and love for me and all humankind consumed him to the point that he was willing to do whatever it would take to give us eternal life in his kingdom. It was not easy. He needed to conquer the biggest killer of all – SIN and DEATH and the battle was grim until the end. Yet he was willing. Willing to be judged, mocked, misunderstood and eventually betrayed by his friends. He was willing to be beaten beyond recognition and spate upon. He was willing to be hung out naked and left to die alone in anguish. “Father why have you forsaken me? “Forgive them, they do not know what they are doing.” “I (willingly) commit my spirit.” He won the battle. He lives, I live, you live, my brother lives -. for by his stripes we are healed.”
Thank you my Lord for being willing to save us from a fate worse than death – a life without you. Help us to be willing to walk in your sandals. Help us to be willing to make the sacrifices that faith requires, surrendering totally to your will.
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