Monday, October 29, 2012

All You Need is Love

I love Facebook.

It's so cool to be hooked up to people all over the world: cousins in Italy, sisters in Florida, like-minded writers, people suffering through health ailments as myself, organ donor families, and so many more. I receive blessings when people share goodness, struggles, sadness, loss, and stories of encouragement.

Last week I saw a post from a family on the East Coast about their little boy, Christopher. I believe he is five years old and can't go trick or treating due to illness and exposure to germs. Here is the picture and post:

"Someone likes his costume ... had it on 'till bedtime last night and put it on first thing this morning.

Any of you who live close that want to put snacks aside for him, please let me know. We can't do door to door trick or treating because of exposure risk, but he is still excited about Halloween. And thanks ahead of time for taking that extra step and thinking of our 'lil man. xoxo"

That post got me. I messaged his mom and asked if I could send a treat in the mail. She gave me her address and said they were limiting his sugar. But he liked salty snacks.

This is Christopher's story:

Christopher was born in April 2008 with non-compacted cardiomyopathy, a very rare condition where the heart muscle remains sponge-like after birth and causes the heart to be very weak. Christopher's cardiomyopathy affects his right and left ventricles where it is very hard for his heart to pump and function correctly. They said the only option we had to medically intervene, was a heart transplant. At that time, we opted against with only the very best quality of life in mind for him. We also didn't have guarantees he would survive if we attempted to transplant.
Christopher was not given very long to live. Six months at the most. But we believed that the doctors could tell us what they knew from books, but our Mighty God is the Great Healer and could fully heal his heart either way. We placed him at the Lords feet and asked Him to give us strength for whatever was His will. We knew he would be okay, but we would need some help. At 45 days old, he was admitted into hospice care where he remained for 15 months. But Milestone after milestone passed.
In February 2010, it was discovered that Barth Syndrome (BTHS) is the cause of Christopher's cardiomyopathy. Barth syndrome is a rare, sex-linked genetic disorder of lipid metabolism that affects males. Christopher has home-bound speech therapy three times a week and is currently doing very well, all things considering!

With this diagnosis is affirmation to never lose sight of the trust we must have in our Father in Heaven. We still depend on miracles every day. God is in control, and He doesn't do half miracles and our trust in Him has never failed us.

Christopher received his surprise in the mail today. A package went from my home in Washington State to this small boy in Mississippi. I don't know this family. I never met Christopher. But by the pictures his mom tagged me in on Facebook, I know he received the love I sent today.

I feel selfishly blessed.

When you go out of your comfort zone, schedule, or whatever zone and do something kind for another person, you have showed love. Not a card that will be thrown away, a phone call that won't offer a physical hug, a cyberspace message of prayer and thoughts, or even a check that can pay bills, but not fill someone's heart with love can be substituted for real, intentional compassion and caring.

Do an act of kindness a least once a week or whenever you can. A tangible act of kindness can be of little financial value that delivers true love to the recipient. Do this for people you don't know at all or hardly know. Do this for a friend or family member you may not really like.

Just do it.

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Sunday, October 14, 2012

New York State of Mind

Some folks like to get away,
Take a holiday from the neighborhood.
Hop a flight to Miami Beach or to Hollywood.
But I'm takin' a Greyhound on the Hudson River line.
I'm in a New York state of mind.
I've seen all the movie stars in their fancy cars and their limousines.
Been high in the Rockies under the evergreens.
I know what I'm needin', and I don't want to waste more time.
I'm in a New York state of mind. ~Billy Joel, New York State of Mind

New Yorker's get a bum rap. We mean what we say. We like to speak our mind. You never have to worry what we're thinking--we'll let you know. Brainstorming is talking about ten subjects at once with a group of people. But we always know exactly what each other said.

We believe in freedom and are the most NON judgmental people there are. We won't tell you what to do or how to live or what to think. But get in a line at the deli and wonder what to order and we'll help you figure it out.

We like to hash things out; sometimes with raised voices and by waving our hands wildly. Once everyone has said their view, we walk away without hard feelings. We like to debate and let everyone have their own opinion.

We love life. Fighting for a good thing means winning is the only acceptable outcome. That means we sweat and work until all resources are extinguished. If you need help--we're there. We will stand up and die for people we don't even know.

New Yorker's live among every nationality in the world in New York City. But no one notices.

We drink coffee out of paper cups printed with a blue and white Greek pattern, stand by our pizza, love the smell of a charred pretzel on a chilly day in the city, live for our bakeries, die for our country, and can shake the dust off our feet and start all over again.

There's a lot for Christians to learn from a true New York native.

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