She always said she was living with Cancer, but not dying from it. SHE LIVED.
Over ten years ago a very deep theological discussion was going on in my house, in my daughter’s bedroom. Valerie, my daughter was eleven. Bethany who was suffering due to cancer was eight. Here is a portion of what was discussed:
Bethany: “Do you think you would be scared if you had to go through chemo therapy?”
Valerie: “I don’t think I could do it. You’re always in such a good mood and having fun. How do you do it knowing you have cancer?”
Bethany: “Because I’m working for God the whole time and even though I have cancer I still help a lot of people, maybe even more because I have cancer”?
BETHANY’S WHITE DREAM
Bethany’s White Dreams (written by Bethany, age 12, several weeks prior to her death due to years of fighting leukemia).
When I went to the ICU I closed my eyes and went into a deep sleep. I saw two figures. I saw Jesus and the devil. The devil was a dark figure and Jesus was light. The light was a color that I can’t describe. I went with Jesus into Heaven with an angel helping from behind. I also saw gold gates. I saw a mist that was a color I never saw. Jesus was talking to me, but His lips were not moving, but I understood everything He was saying. It felt like He lifted my spirit up into Heaven. I floated around with Him. An angel was with us always, too. I saw Jared Mynear (who had died of cancer) my friend, and he was healthy. He had no limp and was doing great. I saw Rachel Derrosset (who had died of cancer) she had a glow on her head, not a halo but a bright glow. I saw Mallory Williams (who had also already died of cancer) and she was dancing with her grandma. I saw my Grandma and she was singing a pretty song. It was an angelic sound. Nothing that you hear on Earth. Mallory told me to tell her mom “to close her eyes and I’ll say hi and everything’s o.k. and my grandma is taking care of me.” Then Jesus told me that I need to go back and have more White Dreams and I’ll be o.k. The first words that I said when I woke up is that “I’m back”. Now I will always be o.k. and will have all the White Dreams and no Dark Dreams. I feel that God showed me this because I need to know that I’m okay and to let the moms and dads of those kids know they’re O.K. Also to let others know that their kids are O.K. here on Earth and also in Heaven.
At the funeral, Bethany’s Sunday school teacher, Lesa, was able to speak a few minutes about her. Here is what we learned about a conversation between teacher and student and I think after hearing this story you will see who the real teacher and student is in this case. Bethany had lost all of her long beautiful hair because of her treatments to combat the cancer. Being an elementary student with no hair was not to be overlooked by some of the boys in her school who would make fun of her. Lesa was sharing how Bethany endured the embarrassing ridicule. “Miss Lesa”, she said, “Do you know what I do when those mean boys make fun of me because of my bald head? I decide to treat them nice on purpose”! From out the mouth of babes came one of the most profound theological truths that Jesus taught.
I call Matthew 7:12, Bethany’s Challenge. This is why I read and pray Matthew 7:12 every day. I have to learn and practice to love and forgive. I have to remind myself to be nice to people on purpose. And who among us could dare face God one day, with Bethany sitting by His side or most likely in His lap and make any excuse for not being willing to learn and practice Bethany's Challenge?
‘In everything do to others as you would have them do to you; for this is the law and the prophets’
Make a decision now to begin every day by reading, meditating and putting into action Matthew 7:12. Ask yourself this question: When, where and with who do I struggle the most to practice the Bethany Challenge?
Father, we pray that our love will grow for one another as we continue to become more intimate with You. Lord, we ask that our thoughts reflect Your thoughts; our words resonate Your words; our ways replicate Your ways. Help us to understand what really matters as we anticipate Your return. Give us insight for what You want to do for our lives and in our lives. May we always honor and please You in every way, every day. May we gaze upon Your face! And……..may we fulfill the Law and the Prophets by treating people nice on purpose.