It’s a routine I have gratefully embraced since last June: every three weeks I dutifully show up at the cancer center, wait a few minutes until I’m called, then settle into an alcove next to others who are receiving various types of chemo. Equipped with a couple of pillows, a warm blanket, and a good book, I watch nurse Karen skillfully insert the needle into my good vein on my left arm and start a saline drip. A few minutes later she along
with another nurse as witness ask my name and birth-date before hooking up the clear packet of Herceptin, then for the next half hour while I enjoy reading my book or doze off in a cat nap, it painlessly flows into my body one drop at a time.
Yes, I am grateful to submit to this routine for a year in hopes that these Herceptin infusions, along with a tiny hormone suppressant pill taken daily will eradicate the cancer cells that may be hiding in my body. I image the clear liquid dripping steadily through the plastic tubing as bringing healing to me one drop at a time.
Last Saturday evening I saw the movie WONDER. It is about Auggi, who was born with Treacher Collins Syndrome. He had already suffered through several surgeries to address its symptoms and his face was very scarred and ‘abnormal’. Home schooled by his mother, he was about to enter a public school for the first time in the fifth grade. As he bravely lived through the experience, the amazing person he was growing into was revealed bit by bit. Unexpected acts of kindness opened up new friendships, and gradually Auggi’s presence influenced the whole school, one person at a time—like healing coming to them one drop at a time. If you have not seen it, go. It truly is a WONDER.
Last night on 60 Minutes, I rejoiced to learn about chef Jose Andres from an up-scale restaurant in California, who decided to use his skills to help feed the hungry people of Puerto Rico devastated by the hurricane. While FEMA stalled out by bureaucratic red tape, he simply began cooking hot meals and serving them to suffering people one meal at a time. As other cooks and volunteers joined him, the meals multiplied by the thousands, and even those who lost everything came forward to lend a hand to help prepare and deliver the hot meals to people in out-of-the-way places. That’s what it takes–one person at a time, one meal at a time.
I believe God’s power at work in us, living the Good News, preaching the Gospel “from the pulpit of our lives”—through deliberate acts of kindness, forgiveness and reconciliation, honest civil conversations, gratefulness, compassion, generosity, and loving service— bring healing to our broken world–one choice at a time, one drop at a time.
Perhaps our individual prayers and non-violent actions for peace may seem like next to nothing, hardly able to right the world’s wrongs. But joined with countless others striving to BE PEACE, BUILD PEACE, PREACH PEACE, things like hunger and maybe even war and every form of oppression can be conquered in our world.