As I write this blog a friend, I’ll call her Mary, is going through a double mastectomy.  I can’t imagine what Mary has been going through these past days right up to this day and this moment.  Even with a heart attack and nine surgeries of my own, including part replacements, I cannot get my mind around the impact that this surgery will have on Mary.  She is strong, and on the outside she will be who she was, but this procedure takes away so much and will be a measure of who she is on the inside.  I have faith and confidence that Mary will overcome and recover.

Fear and change.  Too often it comes upon us suddenly, without warning.  We quickly run through the stages of denial until we are faced with the reality that something we resist with every part of our being, must be done.  Cancer, lung disease, invasive tests, surgery, radiation, chemo, etc., words which too often generate fear and gets our mind racing.  Maybe we hear the doctor say “only one out of a hundred” are not helped by this procedure, but your mind dwells on “maybe I am that one”.

We often miss the important part of being a friend to the hurting one.  Reaching out, being there, communicating support.   Maybe we are reminded of a line from the Bible “I was sick and you visited Me” and you realize that that means you, and you react.   Perhaps you recall those times when it was you on that gurney, in that hospital bed, and how much you needed those expressions of support and love, and the meaning of Jesus’ words comes clear.

Mary is 2,000 miles away and visiting is not in the cards.  But she has an angel of her own who has visited, taken care of her children when she was enduring the ravages of her treatments, and done a multitude of little things that clearly illustrates Christ’s words.  That angel, that friend of Mary, did not act out of obligation, but out of love.  And, thus,  the meaning of Christ’s words takes on flesh and blood:

37 “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? 38 When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? 39 When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’  40 “The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’

May God bless our angels.