Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Making an Impact

2 Timothy 2:20-21 (The Message)
 "In a well-furnished kitchen there are not only crystal goblets and silver platters, but waste cans and compost buckets—some containers used to serve fine meals, others to take out the garbage. Become the kind of container God can use to present any and every kind of gift to his guests for their blessing."

We went to the cancer clinic today for our first appointment with a doctor since Tammy was released from the hospital. The doctor was very pleased with the results of her labs. All her counts are improving, and he is hopeful that she will be ready for her next biopsy by next Tuesday. He also said the counts may be high enough by this Friday that she can cut back on some of her preventative medicines. When that happens, it means we'll be able to kiss each other, something we're both really looking forward to.

But I want to focus on something other than kissing or even recovery. While the doctor was in the room, Tammy asked him if he had taken his trip. He looked puzzled, so she said, "To St. Louis, to look at colleges?" Then he remembered that he had told her about his daughter who also wants to be a doctor. She's a senior in high school, so she's choosing the first step of her college career that won't end for at least a decade. He filled her in on which college his daughter had chosen. You could see the joy on his face as he shared about his daughter.

As we were getting ready to leave, one of the nurses who was there three years ago came in to visit Tammy and hug her. She wasn't Tammy's nurse, but Tammy had had enough of an impact on her that she wanted Tammy to know that although she was sorry the Leukemia had returned, she was glad to be able to see her again. She also said she was praying for Tammy.

As we left the clinic, she waved at one of the residents in the office. That doctor got out of her chair and came out into the hallway. She asked how Tammy was feeling, and of course, Tammy asked her how she was doing. She hugged Tammy as well.

The point? Tammy continues to be used by God. Remember from three years ago that Tammy's prayer since childhood has been to be used in a mighty way. She certainly was through her first battle with Leukemia, and every indication is that she will be again.

I'm very proud of her, as you probably know. I know I'm biased, but I see up close how other people are more important to her than she is to herself. She certainly has good self-worth and she's doing everything she can to get better. But she doesn't wallow in self-pity. Instead, she chooses to focus on others and their needs.

You might think, by the way I write so glowingly about Tammy, that I think she's perfect. I know she's not. She's about as close as anyone I know, but she still has faults. She knows that the only way to have perfection is to accept the forgiveness offered through the sacrifice of Jesus. Part of the impact she makes is living out her faith. She doesn't pretend to be perfect. She also doesn't complain about her situation. She simply lives out love. When asked how she can be so upbeat while sitting in a hospital bed, she gives credit to God and the strength He provides.

Now that's making an impact.

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