Something really cool happened to me yesterday. I got to meet someone who had an impact on my life about one year ago. This was my second year attending the Jubilee Professional conference in Pittsburgh. It’s a conference where really interesting people give blessedly short talks (sorry…typical short attention span of an 80s kid) on matters of faith and vocation. It’s pretty cool stuff. And they have good snacks.
I almost didn’t go because I had chemo the day before and usually I just stay home for the days following. But I wanted to go (my wonderful mentor oversees the whole thing, and everything she does is amazing) and some nice people were willing to drive me there and home. So I mustered up all of my energy and went.
So, a year ago, this really cool artist, Scott Erickson http://scottericksonart.com painted a really great piece during the talks, capturing the flavor of the event. Then, he gave a talk. And boy did it move me. He talked about a dear friend of his who was sick from cancer, and how despite all of the prayers…she passed away. And how much it sucks to watch someone you care about suffer. And how hard it is to trust God in all of that. And how it causes you to question so much. That was about 6 months before my diagnosis. Since then, I have thought often about that talk.
So when I walked in yesterday and there he was, I was a wee bit star struck. But I had to YOLO it up and say hello. And I’m so glad I did. We had a nice chat and I was able to thank him for the impact he had on me last year. That would have been plenty. But there was more. Some people just have wisdom, and just know what to say. His response when I shared very briefly about my situation was basically this: “Some things require us to be brave. I can see you’re being brave.”
There is so much temptation to be afraid. But God has whispered many messages to me through this, urging me to be courageous.
Here is the awesome painting Scott created during this year’s conference. As with cities and relationships and rogue cancer cells…God’s got this.