The other day I was cleaning out a drawer that was starting to be filled with too much paperwork. I started to go through each piece of paper to see if I still needed the document or if I needed to shred it or throw it away. Among the vast majority of medical documents pertaining to my cancer diagnosis, treatment plan and so forth there was also various letters sent to me from family, friends and even from people I had never met before.
As I was checking each letter sender’s information carefully there was one in particular that really stood out to me because it was from Ireland. Baffled, I opened the letter and proceeded to read its content. I then realized that it was from a priest that I met during my cancer battle. Reading this letter again after all these years still brought a smile to my face. This all came about because during my cancer battle, several friends that were praying for me at their church would ask me if they could send the clergy to my house to speak with me and I said yes to all. I received home visits from priests, pastors, deacons and from other denominations as well. I felt in my heart that I was receiving these individuals as messengers of God sent to me by God to speak the word of God and to give me the anointing of the sick. Needless to say, one of the individuals who came to several home visits was a Catholic priest who demonstrated lots of compassion towards me. During one of his home visits, I asked him if he knew somebody who had gone through cancer because his knowledge was extensive. It was then when he reveled to me that he, himself had had cancer therefore, he personally knew the trials, tribulations and victory of being a cancer survivor. He also told me that he felt a renewed sense of joy to do God’s work. I don’t know why I asked, but I asked him why do you say that you feel a renewed sense of joy. He exclaimed, well when I was going through my cancer battle, I questioned God. I asked God why am I going through this? Have I not done what you required of me? In search of answers, he said that he spoke with others priests and realized that cancer was not happening to him because of something he did or didn’t do. It was just something that he had to endure. He then decided to turn to God more than ever before seeking guidance, strength and courage to go through his cancer battle. I remember that he went into great details about his situation but this is the summary of our conversation. He felt a new sense of joy after beating cancer and vowed to continue God’s work in the church as well as missionary work all over the world. Consequently, he was only stationed at a church in my city for a short period of time.
The letter he sent me from Ireland, was to send me good wishes and blessings. He was taking some time to visit his family, but he wanted me to know that he still had me in his prayers. When I read this letter the other day, it still brought a smile to my face today because I know he took time away from his family and friends to write the letter to me and send blessings. Also, with technology now a days it is a rare gift to receive an actual physical letter written by hand. I mean who wouldn’t love to get a letter from a messenger from God that is living in another country. I decided to keep this letter in the drawer. It brought me much comfort during my time of need and it still means a great deal to me. This priest will always hold a special place in my heart.
Sometimes, a simple piece of paper, receipt or an unexpected physical letter brings a smile to someone who is experiencing difficulty in their lives. This priest was a stranger who God put in my path so that we could meet during my cancer battle. Unfortunately, he had to move to another country to continue God’s work and was not present in my life to witness God’s blessings of my victory in defeating cancer. Yet, I write of him today because of the tremendous impact he left forever imprinted in my heart and mind. His message was simple yet with a profound meaning.