The Seventh Friend

When I was first diagnosed with cancer:

My first friend came and expressed shock by saying, “I can’t believe that you have cancer; I always thought that you were active and healthy.” He left and I felt alienated and somehow very different.

My second friend came and brought me information about treatments used for cancer and said, “Whatever you do, don’t take chemotherapy. It’s a poison.” He left and felt scared and confused.

My third friend came and tried to answer my “whys” with the statement, “Perhaps God is disciplining you for some sin in your life.” He left and I felt guilty.

My fourth friend came and told me, “If your faith is great enough, God will heal you.” He left and I felt guilty. My fifth friend came and told me to remember, “All things work together for good.” He left and I felt angry.

My sixth friend never came at all. I felt sad and alone.

My seventh friend came and held my hand and said, “I care. I’m here. I want to help you through this.” He left and I felt loved.

-Linda Mae Richardson, in The Victory in the Valley

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