Sunday, March 4, 2012

jan has had a bone marrow transplant.
cancer of the blood. huge doses of chemo which
left her with no hair. the second toe on each foot
began to cross over her big toes.

she lost all her hair.
the hardest part, hands down,
of all of it. today, if has grown in blond,
amazingly thick, and wears it short. everyone
raves about how she looks. has been in remission
three years.

as she went in to the beauty shop to have her
nails done and hair washed, her manicurist
came over to her. arms folded. eyes closed
(i guess out of nervousness). she said,
"jan, i think your hair doesn't look good a little longer;
you need to wear it very short. it's stunning that way."

the sun had suddenly crawled behind the lingering clouds.
all music stopped. noise in the beauty shop ceased. and
jan's happy spirits were erased by sorrow and unspoken'
sadness. cancer had brought alot of difficult things into her
life. more than anything, she looks in the mirror, and
doesn't even know who she is anymore.

the punch-in-the-stomach words are often said
without realizing what they might mean. i really
don't believe this woman meant to hurt jan. jan is
just yearning to accept her new identity. i've never
had cancer, but will died of kidney cancer, and know
many who have had it. you are never quite the
well . . . i think most aren't.

in loving the world to Jesus,
it seems best to be more quiet than loud.
more sensitive to what others might possibly
be feeling. how they might interpret things.

it's a skill: loving the world to Jesus.
building bridges instead of walls. try to think of
beautiful words that might cheer someone.

there was a man outside the grocery store today.
and right next to my car. he asked if i knew my one
light was out. honestly, it would be impossible NOT
to notice. still haven't had the courage or money to
get it fixed. hmmmm. here was someone God had
placed in my face.

he talked about how hard it was to make it in this
economy. that he had a place for his family to sleep
every night. but nothing left over for food. i only had $8
in my purse. but i looked at him.

"sir, do you know Jesus? He's our only Hope, you know..."
well, he needed to get his family back in church. . . yes. . . just
hard to do alot of things. i put my cash in his hand. reminded
him that no matter where we are, Jesus is far bigger than our
impossibilities. and patted his shoulder.

light a candle.
study the people around you.
look for ANYTHING that might touch
them. kind words go a long way with me.

candles burning. the weary-worn world reaching
for the flicker of light. be faithful, soldiers.
one day at a time. as the glow begins to dim.
understand that the shadow of God's Presence
is always, always with us. leading the way.
love, ann


Janice said...

Ann, I love your writings... and just came across this blog on FB. sorry to hear of Jan's struggle... give her a hug for me. Thank you for always being transparent and REAL. Blessings my sister in Christ. Janice in Ohio

CrystalRose said...

I, too, am sorry to hear about Jan - her struggle for identity and how much those words hurt. I am thrilled that she is in remission. It amazes me Ann how you give ur last dollar to those in need. U r a beautiful person. Have a happy monday and a wonderful week!

Karen Deborah said...

beautiful testimony and soft reminder to be gentle.

Diane said...

I'm so blessed by your blogs. I first started reading your books in the '70s as a young mom and have read all of them. I've prayed for you in your struggles, and rejoiced in your victories. Our lives have paralleled. I have 4 kids, I have lost a child, I lost my husband (2001)......and so on. I attended a seminar you spoke at many years ago at the !st Bapt Ch in Lakewood, CA.
Thank you for your openness and inspiration.
Diane in Colorado

Anonymous said...

Somebody should have replied, Did you
know your face doesn't look good
when you criticize people who've
been ill; praise others to make
the world have a positive place.

Alan said...

I don't know if you will remember me. I met you at Jesus West Coast 79! I was pastor of a couple of small churches in Northern Calif. back in 78-81. Our small church in Laytonville, Ca. contributed to your gym for the kids in Boston. You sent me an invite for the grand opening. Your life impacted mine as a young Christian so much.May the love of Christ bless you to the max in 2012! if you can- please email me at God Bless! Alan

Unknown said...


Thank you so much for sharing some of Jan's struggles. In reading your books I know that you have such a deep connection with your sweet twin.

Please let her know that God always sees her as beautiful. Her identity is in Him. Give her a big hug for me and tell her to keep fighting the good fight.


Anonymous said...

Tell Jan to wear her hair any way she feels comfortable. Just because someone else thinks she looks better with short hair is....just that someone else's opinion. So glad she is in remission.....and has beautiful hair again.

barb said...

"it's a skill: loving the world to Jesus." Very powerful comment!

I loved your thoughts on "light a candle" and "candles burning. the weary-worn world reaching
for the flicker of light." (made me think of Kari Jobe's song "We are the light")

I read Seduced by Success this last weekend. Beautiful Ann! So much in it that I am going to read it again and journal about specifics in my own life. I'm sorry for your pain, your struggle, your mini hell on earth. Praise God he brings us through when we're willing to go deep. I especially grasped on to your scripture references in the front of each chapter. I also took note of your reference to Anne Morrow Lindbergh and checked out some of her books today at the library. Thanks as always. : )

Anonymous said...

You always share such wonderful things, ideas, events...but I am sorry for Jan, that those words hurt. You know, I wonder if her hair dresser has a bit of Asperger's syndrome? We have that in our kin did not even have a name until maybe 1995 or so. I so wish I had understood this syndrome years ago. I think most people with this truly mean to be helpful, but they have such a hard time putting words together in such a way as not to hurt. I hope Jan will not take it personally, tho indeed it feels SO VERY personal!! It is amazing that her hair has grown back thick and blond!! What a gift!! Struggling with so much hair loss myself (not cancer, maybe high blood pressure drugs)...oh it is so hard to be going bald, so very hard!! As women, our hair is so much tied up to our identity!!

Your remarks about praying over your sons is so very encouraging too. I have 3 children, older than yours...yet, we always remain moms and it seems yes, each always needing prayers for one thing or another.

Blessings on you for all you give to others, in so many ways. Surely great is your reward in our next life, our REAL HOME!!