For a few months, I had been thinking a lot about how broken our culture and world are, wondering what my faith could offer that was powerful enough to heal it. I read Brené Brown’s amazing book “Dare to Lead: Brave work. Tough conversations. Wholeheartedness.” and was realizing the positive effect such a theory of leadership could have on communities of faith which, by their founding values, are leading voices in the power of love when shared through community. And I was hearing God’s call for me to use my gifts of speech, empathy, and persistence to get this conversation started across this country. I had hired a coach and began my research.
And then my 9 year old son was diagnosed with Cancer.
He had been complaining of pain in his leg for about 2 weeks which I had Mom-diagnosed as “growing pains” and blew off. Then the news from school that he had fallen asleep at his desk twice in one week… which of course, was adorable… but got me assuming the growing pains were keeping him up at night. I stopped by a CVS on my way home from work intent on buying melatonin, but the God-sent pharmacist sent me home insisting I talk to my doctor first.
It was a Thursday night – why do we always remember the day of the week? I walked my baby into his doctor’s office ready for a quick once over and prescription. I had dinner to put on the table and my 11 year old had to be somewhere by 7. She had him hop up on the table and slid her fingers gently down his right leg. As she hit the tumor, he winced and jumped. Forty five minutes, a set of x rays, and a handful of calls to Children’s hospital later and I was told what was coming… “Prepare yourself, Cheryl. This is going to be a long road. There will be surgery. There will be chemo.”
Later that week my son was diagnosed with osteosarcoma and just days after that we began our treatment program.
Where my divine call to leadership and change and the lessons about love and kindness learned through the hard and soft days of my son’s treatment intersect is where Parables of Hope found its conception. In this space I will share stories of life and death and love that give proof to the inherent goodness with which we are all made. Through this project I will wonder about how courageously entering into relationship which is founded in vulnerability and authenticity can begin to heal our divided communities.
Through this blog I will share stories of hope for this divided and broken culture – stories that originate in the faith of my call to ministry. I will reveal my hope for a love that, in my language, is The Christ – a love radical enough to bring even the most divided together.
A love that is powerful enough to heal this angry and hurting world.