People are amazing.
In this journey of battling prostate cancer, I have met some astounding people. Again and again, I have had a man or a woman come into our store for no other reason than to offer me encouragement and hope.
“You got this!” they tell me.
“You can do it!”
“I am praying for you.”
There have been numerous hugs. Firm hand shakes. Words of encouragement. Gifts. Stories – many, many stories of overcoming cancer or some other type of challenge. A book arrived in the mail (read this, it will encourage you!). A letter arrived offering encouragement. One friend loaned me an expensive piece of equipment for therapy (PEMF System).
Hope. It is out there. It’s everywhere.
One man came to the store specifically to talk with me. We were closed, but he tapped on the door and we let him in. He had been diagnosed with prostate cancer and had been through everything that I was about to go through. And like me, he was a runner. “I just wanted to come by and introduce myself,” he said. “And tell you that it’s okay. You’ll be fine.”
Another man is in my business network group. He had also been diagnosed with prostate cancer and had been through everything I was about to go through. I see him every week. “How ya doin’? he asks. “You will have no problem.”
Text messages. Email messages. Phone calls. Visits to our store. Casual conversations in other stores or restaurants.
Everywhere I go, and every day that I live, I meet people who are clinging to hope and who are offering hope. Even in the midst of tragedy, such as school shootings or fatal car accidents, people continue to reach out to each other. It’s like people are reaching back, grasping hands, and pulling others along.
“I’ve been there. If I can do it, you can do it.”
I am happy to report that the human spirit is alive and well.
The Bible talks about hope. In the book of Romans, there is a description of the kind of behavior that I have found in people.
“Rejoice in our confident hope. Be patient in trouble, and always keep on praying. When God’s people are in need, be ready to help them. Always be eager to practice hospitality.”
The human spirit is marvelous. People everywhere are confident in hope. They are patient in trouble. They are ready to help and to offer hospitality. No matter how much bad news spills through the television set or comes through on social media, people keep marching on, grasping hands, uniting, and pressing on.
I am happy to report that good and profound and astonishing men and women are still out there. They are everywhere. Sometimes you just have to look for them.
One of my customers invited me to have coffee with him. He wanted to talk with me about my journey with prostate cancer. He wanted to share valuable information with me, and to tell me his story. We met for over an hour. It was fascinating. His experiences were many. His knowledge was abundant and his advice was profound. His continued hope was inspiring.
And yes, there are some days when I am tired. When my legs are sore. When the journey seems long. When it feels like there are too many things to do and not enough time to get them all done. When the hills are big and the ground is rocky. But then I read those comments on Facebook. “Keep running! Keep going! You got this!”
And so I lace up my shoes.
And I go out there.
And I find hope.
Sometimes that hope is as simple as a sign hanging on a tree. A simple thing that someone did. But that sign stopped me in my tracks. It made me realize that no matter what we are going through, we can cling to hope.
Hold on. Pain ends.
A new day comes. That sun will rise. The morning will break.
And so, with confident hope and renewed faith in my fellow mankind, I press on.