I don't know how many of you have read the book by Rick Warren - "The Purpose Driven Life" but if you haven't, it's a very good book that you read over a period of 40 days if you are consistent with your Bible readings and read it as you are supposed to. There is a journal that goes along with it so you can write your thoughts down as well. Some churches are teaching or have taught it but any one individual can read it also. I receive daily devotions from The Purpose Driven Life and when I get one that is especially meaningful, I like to share it with others. Today was one of those days so I have copied and hope it will paste to this post. THE PURPOSE-DRIVEN® LIFE Daily Devotional November 18, 2004 -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Sad Little Shovels by John Fischer I have a friend who has been battling cancer on and off now for about three years. He is an excellent writer, and has created a huge backlog of information and emotions chronicling the course of this dread disease and his reaction to it. Laced throughout are his dry humor, understandably sarcastic at times (how else can you keep your sanity in this madness?) and an undying faith. What stands out from the beginning has been his attempt to not draw all the attention to himself. When he asks for prayer, he never asks for prayer for himself, but on his behalf, for all the voiceless who suffer without hope, and no one to pray for them. I thought he was almost out of the woods until today, when I received another E-mail, this time letting us know he was on his way into the hospital for the most severe treatment he will have received so far. In it he requests that we don’t send flowers or fruit, as he will be on a floor of patients who have no immune system to speak of. That’s also why, if we plan to visit, he doesn’t want us coming with runny noses and definitely no kids. “Kids, God love 'em, are little disease machines. They have orifices out each end that spew disease. Please, don't bring 'em.” If we have to send something, he suggests money for his wife’s commute to the hospital, chocolates from a certain chocolatier (website included) or gift certificates for Nordstrom’s or the movies. And then there was this: “One doctor referred to what we're about to do as getting hit by the train, then the trucks on the train pull out and hit you, and then their cargo of charging horses run over you too. Only then do the guys with the sad little shovels come and get you and sweep you away.” But I think what got to me the most was his signoff: “Otherwise, just pray. And pray for the many who enter these things with far less hope.” It‘s staggering to think how much knowing God and having a purpose in life can so radically affect the way a person looks at the worst of possible situations. Thinking about someone else in such a time humbles me greatly when I realize how much I think about myself when I am healthy and relatively whole. This man has consistently been using the resources in the family of God, summoned by his own struggle, to solicit prayer for countless people who have no one to think of them or pray for them. And God knows that makes a difference.