Previous Challenge Entry (Level 4 – Masters)
Topic: BRAND (01/12/17)
- TITLE: Brand New
By Brad Paulson
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“Let’s just say they were cautiously optimistic. I appear to be in remission. If this was my first bout I would be jumping for joy, but since this is my second round, I’m just taking it one day at a time.”
“What would you say is the primary feeling or emotion you have at this point?”
I took a breath and pondered the question. The aroma of fresh ground coffee was comforting. “Peace, I would say I am at peace with my situation.” My first go around with cancer treatment was fraught with fear and anxiety. Things didn’t go so well, I entered the doctor’s office with dread every time. My assumption was that I would hear more bad news, require more treatments and more procedures. Dying young seemed to be in the cards for me. I had never married or started a family so I could go without leaving a lot of collateral damage. But, go where?
Liz had often written devotional material and would have me review it. Although I would not call myself a Christian, I was a pretty good proof-reader and the content was always positive. Over time I began to look forward to those devotions, I suppose I had a longing to have something to believe in. She described quite often how God had touched her heart; I wondered why he hadn’t touched mine. I think that her writing may have had a softening effect on me because in recent months I had been hoping, perhaps even praying, for peace in my situation. Liz’s question revealed to me that my hope had come to fruition.
“Peace,” said Liz, “What a wonderful response to such a difficult time.”
“You know Liz; I think your devotional writing has had a little influence on me.”
“I would love to believe that it was something I did, but there is a spirit within those devotions that has a will of its own. I suspect it is that spirit that is at work here.” Liz smiled warmly. “This could be the early stages of you moving toward God, and God embracing you.”
“Well, I’m not sure exactly what is happening, this peaceful easy feeling stuff is brand new to me, but it sure beats the alternative. I’m sick and tired of fear and dread. If I only have a year or two left, I would certainly prefer to live it in peace than in fear.”
“I’m glad you used the term ‘brand new’.” Liz had a twinkle in her eye. She loved words and the origins of terms and sayings. I could tell she had something for me. “You know Kate; the word brand is an old word. We usually associate it with product names and such, but in the original Germanic languages brand had something to do with fire. It could be that it was a term that stemmed from blacksmithing or iron working. One way to translate it is that brand new means fresh from the fire. Purified, tempered, a new creation.”
“A new creation? There’s an interesting thought. Does it come with a new cancer free body?” A customer came in the front door and a cool draft meandered through the coffee shop.
“I think life is impossible to predict. Whether you are done with cancer or not is only something that time is going to reveal. Regardless, the peace that you’re feeling now is in part because of the fire you’ve been walking through. God has a way of using the difficult times to bring us to Him. I suspect it may be happening at this very moment. You can’t imagine the joy it brings me. Your health may be restored, or maybe not, but the peace you’ve been given won’t leave if you embrace it.”
“Well one thing is for sure,” I said, “I am fresh from the fire.”
Liz grinned, “Brand new.”
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