A few weeks ago, one of my co-contributors to Thought for the Month sent me an article from the Sunday Times, written by Matthew Syed (thank you David), he wondered if it could be used as a Thought for the Month. At first I thought yes, then I wasn’t sure, there’s no doubt it’s an inspirational story but how does it fit within a series of thoughts which are by their nature focused on God, faith, spirituality….?
I’m sure many will have heard of Deborah James, teacher turned journalist and podcaster, recently made Dame, who was diagnosed with bowel cancer in December 2016. Deborah sadly passed last Tuesday. Following her diagnosis she started to share her story with as many people as possible. She did it in a positive and life affirming way. In spite of the odds she maintained a sense of fun, joy, love, compassion and a huge desire to help others avoid the pain and suffering she was going through. She shared the good, the bad and the ugliness of her situation. Watching a tribute program to her, it was striking the love which flowed both from and to Deborah. I don’t know and wouldn’t be presumptuous enough to assume whether she had a spiritual side to her life or not, but one thing that struck me was that we can all learn from her sense of, as she would describe it, rebellious hope, love and concern for others whether family, friends or people she’d never even met.
In the famous passage from 1 Corinthians 13, often read at weddings, Paul speaks of faith, hope and love and that the greatest of these is love.
Along with this thought is the article sent to me. It seems to me Deborah has been an inspiration to countless people and I hope and pray that God will bless her, her family, and friends as they come to terms with their loss, and that faith, hope and love will abound for each and every one of them and us.
To date the Fund Deborah set up to help fight bowel cancer has reached over £7m
Loving God – Thank you!
Thank you for those people who shine a light into a dark world.
Thank you for those people who, in the midst of tragedy
Share love, hope and inspiration.
Thank you for those people who show that time is a precious gift
And encourage us to use it so that we and all those around us
May have life in all its fullness.
And so Lord we ask that you give all those
Who are facing difficult times in their lives,
Faith and hope in Your eternal love,
And confidence that even in death it is not the end,
But a New Beginning
Through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.