It was a stressful, frantic morning as I prepared to host a community-wide event at our church. Anxiety grew as my morning arrangements weren’t going as smoothly as I’d hoped. My ministry colleague and friend, Darrell, saw my visible stress and quietly asked, “Would you like a non-anxious presence to walk with you?” His companionship and peaceful countenance helped me to work more efficiently and calmly. I appreciated his awareness that, while he couldn’t fix everything, he would help me most by simply NOT reacting; by NOT taking on my stress and anxiety.
Darrell’s non-anxious presence and his ability to remain this way were gifts to me that I remember all these years later.
As I work to remain cancer-free and healthy, I have learned about the work of healthy cells. Healthy cells have an ability known as contact inhibition. When a normal cell comes into contact with other cells, it knows to stop dividing (as if they tell themselves, “Okay, that’s enough, now I will just be”). Cancerous cells lose this ability. They no longer have a system in place to limit and control cell division. When they encounter other cells, they just keep growing and dividing, unabated. By nourishing my cells to remain as healthy as possible, they will be less likely to grow unchecked. My healthy cells do their best work by remaining that way!
How might we serve as healthy cells in this broken, hurting world? How often might we make a difference- by simply being a healthy example in the midst of unhealthy situations? By doing our best to refrain from taking on those unhealthy qualities that often times surround us?
To be and remain a shining light of love in the darkness of hatred.
To be and remain a word of hope in times of despair.
To be and remain a quiet refuge from an otherwise noisy world.
To be and remain a gentle embrace in a harsh and barren atmosphere.
To be and remain a kind response during an angry, volatile conversation.
To be and remain a healing balm instead of a kicking-back reactionary.
To be and remain an understanding friend in the quandary of chaos or confusion.
To be and remain a welcoming embrace for diversity amidst the demands for conformity.
To be and remain a non-anxious presence in stressful, frantic moments.
To be and remain a selfless, generous helper in a world of greed.
To be and remain that faithful companion for the journey.
To be and remain that one healthy cell.
To be the healthy, healing people God envisions us to be, and to remain that way for the good of the world.