Real Strength

April 1, 2009

Shortly before I began training for the triathlon, I signed up to volunteer at the local children’s hospital.  I go from room to room asking parents if they need anything, holding babies whose parents are not available and entertaining kids.  Some people have expressed the sentiment that going to a children’s hospital would make them too sad.  I understand that, but it doesn’t bother me for some reason.  Kids are kids – sick ones can be a bit grumpier, but that is mostly because they are bored. 

I interact with kids in the hospital for all sorts of reasons, including cancer.  Today, I met an amazing boy and his mother.  Both sported bald heads.  Both were undergoing treatment for cancer – hers breast, his lymphoma.  Despite this, the mother had an amazing attitude.  She found great solace in prayer and quoted Jeremiah 29:11:

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

Now, I’m not generally a Bible-quoting gal, but this passage made an impression on me.  Or, I should say, the mother’s interpretation made an impression on me.  She said there was a reason so much sickness had found their family and that prayer was their hope and her son was their future.

So much of triathlon training focuses on building strength and endurance of the body.  Today, I witnessed an example of strength and endurance of the spirit.

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