“There is never a reason to lose hope. Jesus says: ‘I am with you until the end of the world.’”

Pope Francis

Earlier this Fall, I distinctly remember discussing an upcoming project with a Church leader. "This has to work," he said nervously. "Can you assure me that this will work?" There was the answer he wanted me to give, and the answer he knew I could give. I responded, "I can’t promise you that, but what I will promise is that I will walk through it with you." Fast forward to this week as we prepared for Peter to start his intensive radiation and chemotherapy treatment this Tuesday. We listened to one of the doctors talk about the torturous side effects and long-term ramifications that the treatment could have on his little body. There’s only so much your mind and heart can absorb before you have to turn off the valve of information. As the doctor finished and asked what questions we had, I asked only one. It was a question for which there was the answer I wanted the doctor to give, and the only answer I knew he could give. "Here’s what I can promise," he said confidently, "we will be with you every step of the way."

I have been reflecting upon that Fall conversation a lot as we have begun this cancer journey with our son. Everyone’s support has been incredible, including perfect strangers. We’ve heard of and been introduced to countless survivors and now healthy adults who faced this cancer at Peter’s age. And yet strangely, as much as I want to hear those stories, the comfort that has meant the most comes from people who through their words and actions just say, "we’re not going anywhere." No predictions, no promises, just presence. As a leader, do all of my plans for the future include the promise of my presence in the present? What difference does the beauty of the destination make, if those I lead can’t bear today? How often do I focus my prayer on the God of tomorrow and forget He is always the God of right now? The Lord tells us, "I am with you always." This week, let’s give thanks that one of the Lord’s greatest promises is a gift for which we don’t have to wait.

by Daniel Cellucci

January 11, 2021

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