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  • Writer's picturePastor Gene

6/23/2024 - Aloha!

I mentioned in an earlier post that I made the intentional decision to wear a Hawaiian shirt on the days I go for chemotherapy treatment and the days I go just for the shot of the clinical trial drug.  My oncologist, Dr. Letzer and research nurse, Madi both wear Hawaiian shirts as well and the nurse who takes my vitals informed me, she is now looking for a Hawaiian shirt.

At visit on June 19th, Dr. Letzer was telling me about a patient he saw the day before.  This patient commented on the Hawaiian shirt Dr. Letzer was wearing that day.  Dr. Letzer then proceeded to tell the patient how the Hawaiian shirt became a part of his wardrobe.  The patient is now also getting a Hawaiian shirt to show support.  Seriously.  I can’t make this stuff up.  I have 3 more rounds of chemotherapy, July 3rd, July 24 and the week of August 11, not sure what day yet.  I think I have plenty of time to get the entire staff at the Parkview Packnett Family Cancer Center to wear Hawaiian shirts, if not for just a day.

Yesterday in worship the congregation surprised me with doing just that.  We had Hawaiian day in worship!  Everyone wore a Hawaiian shirt or something equally festive.

  .  Even peeps all the way in Texas participated.  Thanks Tom and LeAnn. 

Our coffee hour was also themed with pineapple, macadamia nut cookies, and coconut treats. The joy was palpable.  The love was immeasurable.  I am blessed to be a part of a community of faith that lives out the command to love one another as Christ first loved us.

I shared this poem, by Jan Richardson an artist and theologian, in worship yesterday. It speaks to me and my experience. I hope it speaks to you wherever you are on your journey.

Blessing in the Storm

I cannot claim to still the storm that has seized you,

cannot calm the waves that wash through your soul,

that break against your fierce and aching heart.

But I will wade into these waters,

will stand with you in this storm,

will say peace to you in the waves,

peace to you in the winds,

peace to you in every moment

that finds you still within the storm.

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