For where two or three gather together as my followers, I am there among them.
As Jennifer sang just before the sermon, our guitar player lifted his arm to reveal a pink wristband. Another arm went up and then another. David stepped from behind the drums and placed a wristband on Jennifer's arm. In the following minute every arm in the building was raised having a pink "breast cancer awareness" revealed for all to see and to say "we are in this together".
Just 10 days before this precious lady found out that the lump that was found was cancer. DR's have said that it is early, but she must begin the process. A biopsy took place to show the cancerous cells. Today there was an MRI, and now they wait for a visit with another surgeon.
Meet Jennifer. This awesome lady taught both my children in elementary school. While my oldest daughter, Rebecca, was in her class, Jennifer's husband found out he had cancer. The next year when our other daughter, Ruth, was in her class, Steve passed away after a fairly short battle. What a tough year it was.
To my amazement God sent this precious lady and her young son along with several others to our church, and she began to lead our youth ministry because her church merged with ours. Since then Jennifer met and married David who is now our drummer. But you need to know that David's first wife was diagnosed with cancer and passed away only one month later. They both have been through this difficult battle. Their bonds are deeper than just marriage.
Things can get even tougher. Jennifer's dad, the incredible Richard Holland, had overcome so many problems in life and ministered to most likely hundreds of people dealing with addiction and pain. But her dad lost his battle with cancer not much more than one year ago. Can you imagine any more happening to this family?
Now Jennifer learns of a small lump that is cancer. What a story that many people will have a hard time understanding. I know that I don't understand. 3 people battled cancer with the most difficult of outcomes, in our human opinion that is. All 3 were Christians and now are enjoying the awesomeness of heaven. David has 2 children and Jennifer has 1.
I tell you a little about this and share this story to remind us that we need each other. We need community around us. I am not talking about the place we live. I am talking about the people we live life with. God made us for relationships. He made us to serve and care for and to love each other when things are good and when things are bad.
As that first arm went up in the air till the last arm was raised, we said in one silent scream "we are in this together". Through the struggles and the pain. Through the tears and the laughter. Through the days and nights. Through the treatment and waiting. We are in this together. I ask you to join us. Get one of these wristbands. Join us in prayer for Jennifer's healing and for the healing of others going through a battle with cancer.
I am honored to be Jennifer and David's pastor and friend. And we are in this together. I can't take Jennifer's pain or the sickness. But I can pray and be with them. We can lock arms and walk together. My prayer is for Jennifer's healing and for God to use this most difficult of situations to bring our church closer together and to bring people who don't know Jesus to get to know Him.
Who do you know that needs you to join them? There is someone that you need to go see and say "we are in this together". Don't just say the words. Be there. Be present in their life for a very long time.
We need each other.
Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples.