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Gifts from God

The first gift:
...is our minister and friend, Rev. Valerie. She gave so much support to my sister, to me, to our family, through Floyd's illness and death, providing practical advice, or simply giving a hug and sharing stories, whatever was needed. From lifting our spirits with laughter, to contacting the UCW and arranging for meals to arrive, to just being there with loving compassion and her peaceful presence as though she had all the time in the world to spend with us, her strength and comfort was a gift from God.

The second gift:
...is a beautiful prayer shawl. Valerie was leaving the hospital one day, when she pulled two prayer shawls out of her bag and wrapped them around our shoulders, saying "May you always feel the arms of God around you". These shawls are made by the women of a local prayer ministry, who knit (or crochet) them while praying thoughts of healing and comfort. The miraculous feeling of peace and comfort that comes from wearing my prayer shawl is another amazing gift from God.

This photo is actually of my second shawl. My younger daughter laid her eyes (and hands) on my first shawl, and immediately wrapped it around herself then didn't take it off for days, even wearing it to bed. Feeling that the prayer shawl was meant to go where it was most needed, I let her keep it for her own comfort, although also felt very torn because it was such an incredibly special gift to me. Ever thoughtful and understanding, Valerie arrived a couple days later with another shawl for me. (She also brought shawls for my older daughter and my niece, so we all can be wrapped in God's arms.)

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Comments (1)

Anne:

After posting the above, I received this incredible note:

"As one of many Slow Travel blog browsers, I have enjoyed reading your entries on a sporadic basis (don't always have time to sit and browse the blogs). And I am writing to say thank you for what has turned out to be a most serendipitous(sp?)entry -- that in which you spoke so warmly about your pastor Valerie (who sounds like a wonderful person) and the prayer shawls. I read this shortly after I found out a close friend had been diagnosed with terminal cancer - and was feeling totally helpless and frustrated by how little I could do. After reading your post, I contacted the Cole Harbor church, and received an email this morning offering to send me a shawl! I'm thrilled, as this is EXACTLY the right gift for my friend! And, in a strange twist of fate - I found out just last Thursday that I have another friend (who sings with me in our church choir) who has received the same diagnosis -- stage 4 lung cancer that has spread to her bones and her brain! So I was able to request a shawl for her as well. The shawls will be so meaningful to each of these women, and I feel so blessed to be able to provide that extra hug that will wrap them with love.

I wanted you to know how meaningful your post was. Thank you."

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on April 21, 2008 11:04 AM.

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