Sunday, June 17, 2012

Stories to Tell

Paul is back here in Pittsburgh for the week.  We are sitting quietly in Qavah's room, Paul reading a book while I write.  Qavah's emotions and engaging personality are now hidden behind layers of pain medications.  Even though she seems so distant, I still know that she is in there somewhere. Paul continues to read to her from time to time from The Chronicles of Narnia. Her doctor told us that it will be approximately another seven days of this, and by then, she will begin to rebound. The chemotherapy drugs have taken her to a dangerous edge, yet as soon as the new cells begin to multiply, her life will spring forth and she will never be the same. I hope Paul and I will have enough energy to keep up with her as her old diseased cells leave to make way for the new. 

Qavah's new cells came from the umbilical cord of a little African American boy born four years ago.  The mother signed a document stating that she would allow the afterbirth to be used for science.  The cord blood was collected and frozen, and because that baby lives, Qavah will live. There is so much more I could say here about the value of every human life. The world is going to be astonished by the great strides in healing by using cord  blood as a medicine.  What once was discarded is now the hope of many.

Paul and I are exposed to stories here, some of magnificent healing, and some of profound sorrow. Last night we heard some very sad news about a ten-year-old boy down the hall.  His father told us the news, and we came back to the room to pray.  G.K. Chesterton said, "I had always felt life first as a story: and if there is a story, there is a story-teller."  For Qavah, and the little boy down the hall, the Story Teller is at work.  Sometimes the plot is difficult to understand, but after this life, we who believe that Jesus is the Son of God, will be raised up to live with the One Who gave us the greatest story ever told.  It is the Good News that Christ has reconciled us to The Father by his death and resurrection.  He forgives our sin, and makes us His own. To believe that story is the beginning of our greatest adventures.

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