Monthly Archives: April 2011

A Wise Old Saint…

Have you ever received encouragement from someone that is a wise old saint? I use the term “old” carefully here because what I really mean is someone who has been a Christian for at least 20 years longer than me :).

A few months ago, I met a wise old saint and his name is Ralph. I still don’t know him very well, although I sat under his teaching on the tabernacle for the past 10 weeks, I humbly realize that there is much more that I could learn from him.

However, if I never learned another thing about him, I already know the most important thing. Ralph is a valiant soldier of the cross of Jesus Christ! In my world, he is in the same platoon as my grandparents, my parents, my aunts and uncles and others who have dedicated their lives to the master’s service.

I now attend the same church as Ralph and I am not surprised to have learned that almost five years before I met him, he had heard about Mia’s battle with cancer and had begun to pray earnestly for her and for our family, with his men’s prayer group. I never knew this until I signed up for his Wednesday night class and he told me that he felt like he knew me because he had been praying for me. I share this so you can get a glimpse of this dear saint’s heart, which is simply and practically a reflection of Christ’s love and His compassion for mankind.

As we posture ourselves – remembering all that Jesus accomplished for us on the cross –  ponder with me something that Ralph sent to me today. I pray that it will challenge you to be “disturbed” to dream, “disturbed” to thirst, “disturbed” to hope and “disturbed” to believe more boldly.

Our Lord endured the cross for the joy set before Him. WE are that joy folks. Can you even imagine that? It was your face and mine that gave Him the strength to endure until He uttered the words, “it is finished” – freeing us from guilt, fear, inner hunger and emotional want – forever!

Ralph says, “I am greatly challenged by this prayer, penned and spoken by Sir Francis Drake in 1577, just three years before he set out on his epic journey on “The Golden Hind”. He was only the second person to circumnavigate the world. This was a remarkable feat, somewhat similar to those who first dared to travel to the moon and to land there. Let it speak to your spirit; it is never too late to take steps of faith in the name of the Lord Jesus.”

Prayer of Sir Francis Drake (1577)

     Disturb us, Lord, when we are too well pleased with ourselves,

When our dreams have come true

Because we have dreamed too little,

When we have arrived safely

Because we sailed too closely to the shore.

     Disturb us, Lord, when

With the abundance of things we possess

We have lost our thirst

For the waters of life;

Having fallen in love with life,

We have ceased to dream of eternity

And in our hearts to build a new earth,

We have allowed our vision

Of the New Heaven to dim.

     Disturb us, Lord, to dare more boldly,

To venture on wider seas

Where storms will show your mastery;

Where losing sight of land,

We shall find the stars.

We ask you to push back

The horizons of our hopes;

And to push us into the future

In strength, courage, hope, and love.

In the name of our courageous Captain, the Lord Jesus, Amen.

Today, my prayer is one of thankfulness for the gentle presence of  wise old saints who gently encourage us to persevere – reaching for the highest destiny, alongside our courageous Captain – Jesus!


High Heels…

Even though the skies were grey today, I got up with a song in my heart ready to celebrate life. I carefully applied my make-up, donned my best outfit – complete with my high-heels. On this day, I was headed to McMaster Children’s Hospital but not in my comfy shoes and clothes to sleep in Mia’s hospital room or to pull her in a wagon through the halls. Today, my high heels would click confidently through those same halls alongside my beautiful daughter, brave son-in-law, and smiling grandchildren – as we made our way to a luncheon and a press conference.

This was a day of celebration – a day to meet executives from the hospital and Scotia Bank as they gathered to introduce their new poster child – our very own Mia.  Scotia Bank representatives from Southwestern Ontario banks were there to receive their posters and encouragement to begin the next “Smiles for MAC kids” campaign so that children just like Mia can receive the treatment they need to live long healthy lives.

I couldn’t have been more proud of my children as they stood at the podium and humbly addressed City Mayors, Bank personnel and Hospital CEO’s and Presidents. Jonnie spoke saying, “We believed God for Mia’s Miracle and we followed the protocol outlined by oncologists here at MAC Kids. I have no doubt in my mind that Mia would not be cancer free and sitting here today without the amazing care that she received within these walls from people that you recognize as doctors, nurses, social workers and cleaning staff. However, these are all people that my family recognizes as angels. They see incredible suffering every single day and yet they continue to press on – treating every patient as if it were their own son or daughter.

It took a lot of prayer and an entire team of people here at MAC Kids to bring my daughter back to health and I would like to publicly thank every health care professional and every single donor that has ever given a penny to this hospital. Thank you Scotia Bank for raising dollars to support MAC kids. Because of each of you, my daughter has been given a second chance to live. You have made the celebration of life possible for thousands of children in this region and you have given our daughter, Mia, back to our family.”

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Afterward, the President of MAC Kids, Dr. Peter Fitzgerald, shook his head and told me how remarkable it is for Mia to be doing so well after battling stage 4 neuroblastoma. Dr. Fitzgerald performed two of Mia’s surgeries and clearly recognizes that she is indeed a miracle.

On my drive to the hospital this morning, I pondered the familiar words of Psalm 91 and 121 and I played familiar songs like, Mighty to Save and Awesome God. I remembered how these had inspired my faith on almost daily drives to MAC Kids as my family placed their hope and trust in the living God and in the healthcare professionals assigned to Mia’s case.

As I made my way home this afternoon, I passed familiar pit stops at the side of the road where so many times I had pulled over and jumped out of the driver’s seat to quickly hold the bowl for darling Mia as she was sick. As I passed each one, I wiped a tear and thanked God for His mercy, for His healing power, for His strength and for His peace that passed all understanding on so many of those trips.

I thanked Him that after not eating anything for 10 months and not even remembering how to swallow, today Mia ate TWO sandwiches – yes her mother and I watched as she snuck another one from the food table:) At the press conference, she could hardly contain herself when she saw the cupcake tower and she devoured her cupcake in no time as she hugged “Gilbert” her new 2011 MAC Kids stuffed animal.

Yes, today I wore high heels to MAC kids – celebrating the mercy of God’s plan for Mia’s life – every clickety clack telling the world that my God is indeed mighty to save!