Hope in a Strawberry Patch
I have not written in a while. It's not that I haven't had anything to say. Lord knows in the middle of a global pandemic, we all have a piece of our minds we want to share. COVID-19 has not been the only worry on my heart these last few months. During times like these, I often go against my natural tendencies and I retreat. I fall silent because there are TOO many things to say. So I don't. But I had an experience about a month ago that was just too powerful not to share.
I won't go deep into the back story because it's not my story to tell...but one of my people is hurting. She is tired and sick and weary over the battle she is facing. Unfortunately the battle is a familiar one. She has done this before but she had no idea she would have to do it again...and so soon. My friend has experienced a reoccurrence of her cancer not even a year after the doctors eradicated it. They have a plan but in the midst of this crazy pandemic...there are so many unknowns.
The night before her first chemo treatment, I was outside in my strawberry patch. I was busy pulling weeds and thinning the rows...but my mind was overwhelmed with thoughts of my friend. As my heart grew heavier and heavier, I found myself staring at the sunset. It was just beginning to sink below the horizon and it was so beautiful. I stopped dead in my tracks and began to sob. I was so flooded with emotion...it hit me like a truck. I didn't know what else to do so I sat down and I began to pray out loud.
"God I know you can do ANYTHING. I believe that with my whole heart. Please be with my friend. Please heal her."
As I gained some composure and I opened my eyes...something grabbed my attention. While I was hoeing the weeds, I must have accidentally hacked one small strawberry shoot loose. I hadn't noticed it before but it was just laying there in plain sight. I just sat there and stared at it, noticing that it had just enough of its root system on it that it could be transplanted.
I could hear this voice in my heart saying, "Put it in the ground. I'll save it...and I'll save her."
So I did.
Listen, I have been known to swear like a sailor. I have a temper on me like you've never seen. I don't slow down and read the Bible as often as I want to. But in that moment, God saw that I needed him and he met me right where I was.
My friend is one of the toughest, strongest, most positive people I know. God created her that way knowing that she would face some difficult battles in her life. She will conquer this cancer like she has conquered it before. He has put the right people in her life to help make that happen. I believe that with everything in my heart.
When I was a kid, and I would hear the priest or the pastor or the youth leader talk about God coming to them or folks in the Bible having a vision from God...I pictured this man in an elaborate robe floating down on a cloud and speaking in this prophetic speech. It wasn't until my adulthood that I learned that God doesn't always make the grandest entrance. Sometimes, he brings hope in the humblest of places. Even a strawberry patch.