“Watch what God does, and then you do it, like children who learn proper behavior from their parents. Mostly what God does is love you. Keep company with him and learn a life of love. Observe how Christ loved us. His love was not cautious but extravagant. He didn’t love in order to get something from us but to give everything of himself to us. Love like that” —Ephesians 5:1-2 (MSG)
Dressing for a doctor’s appointment, I felt led to slip on a seldom-worn bracelet, a gift from a dear friend. The sparkling jewelry was adorned with the symbol for breast cancer awareness.
As I drove to my appointment, the charm dangled from my wrist, reminding me of how blessed I am. My cancer was caught early and my treatment was minimal.
Before entering the doors of the cancer center that hot July morning, I glanced again at the bracelet. A still, small voice said, “Give it away.”
Walking through the center, I searched the faces of those who were there for treatment. I was there for my yearly follow-up exam. Again, I was declared cancer-free.
Others were just beginning their journey. Some of their faces reflected fear while a peace surrounded those who, like me, had been declared cancer-free or understood the comfort of their faith.
My heart ached for those who appeared lost. I prayed, “God, you want me to give this bracelet away. Show me who needs it the most.”
I searched the faces, praying for the right person to receive the bracelet. I’d almost given up hope, thinking I’d misunderstood God’s direction, when I recognized an older couple seated in the hallway outside one of the exam rooms. I feared one of them had been diagnosed with cancer.
After hugging both, I asked, “Are you okay?”
When the wife revealed they were with their daughter who was battling her second round of cancer, I immediately knew who would be the recipient of the bracelet. I visited with the couple while we waited for their daughter to return from a blood draw.
When I was introduced to their daughter, I slipped the bracelet from my wrist and placed it on hers, saying, “I wanted to give you this to encourage you in this fight.”
Tears filled her eyes as I told her why I was giving it away. “God wanted you to have this,” I said as I wrapped her in a hug.
Since July, Marian has been on my prayer list.
On December 1, I received a text message from a friend who informed me of her passing. He said, “The Folsoms asked me to let you know their daughter died Wednesday. They were telling me how much the bracelet meant. Thank you for ministering to her!”
I share this story to sing the praises of the One who deserves all the glory. Our Heavenly Father is a wonderful example of extravagant love. He gave His One and only Son, Jesus Christ so that we might have everlasting life.
As we go about this season of giving, let us be imitators of Him.
Carol Round is a transplanted Okie, originally from Lake Charles, Louisiana, and former Jay Public School teacher, now resides in Grove. In addition to writing a weekly faith-based column, “A Matter of Faith,” Round spends time with her grandchildren, shooting photos, hiking, working in her yard, reading and studying the Word, volunteering at her church and going on mission trips. For more information, or to contact Round, persons interested may contact her at email@example.com.