Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Shepastor: Mothers, Daughters, Sisters, Friends in the Spirit

This past Saturday, I was invited to a local church “Mother/Daughter” luncheon in honor of Mother’s Day. Women were asked to dress in “hats, pearls and gloves.” I complied (except for the gloves). The event was extremely well attended (at least 500 women from various churches around the city). The women were absolutely stunning!

The hat wearers from the recent royal wedding had nothing on these “sistahs!” Cream, pink, blue, silver, gold, gray, green, black – you name it – suits, hats and gloves of all colors adorned the ladies that day.
More beautiful than the stylish hats, and gorgeous outfits, however, were the messages that came forth from the event. The luncheon highlighted a horrendous condition effecting women, “Triple Negative Breast Cancer.” According to the Triple Negative Breast Cancer Foundation,

"It is only in the last few years that professionals studying breast cancer have concluded that breast cancer is not one disease, but many different forms of cancer all originating in the breast. Depending on its stage of diagnosis, triple negative breast cancer can be extremely aggressive and more likely to recur and metastasize than other subtypes of breast cancer. It typically is responsive to chemotherapy, although it can be more difficult to treat because it is unresponsive to the most effective receptor targeted treatments."

Women were given brochures providing information about the disease. We also were privileged to hear from a local physician who spoke candidly about the need for women to do self-breast exams and to have mammograms.

During the luncheon, another beautiful thing happened. As I sat among women I’d never met before, we all began to laugh, talk and share our experiences in church, with other women, about fashion and our health. Following the “hat parade” and prizes, the beautiful friend that invited me asked that several of us come out to the atrium to take pictures. Mothers, daughters, sisters and friends huddled together for the pictures.

Although many of us did not know one another, we put our arms around each other, pressed cheeks together and smiled for the camera. Short, tall, plump, slim, young, old, fair, dark, brown – large brimmed hats, tall hats, small hats, no hats – we all stood together. Laughing, smiling, encouraging, loving each other in the moment – beautiful women of God! We did not know each other – but in a sweet sense we did – in that moment we were all related – sisters, mothers, daughters, friends in the Spirit!

As I walked out of that beautiful event, a warm feeling came over me. In those women I saw the love of the Lord. I saw my mother and my sisters. Although not my biological family – there was somehow a connection – a bond. That day it impressed me that we are all connected. We must strive to remember to love, care for, lift, teach, encourage, warn, share and bless each other wherever and however we can – we are sisters in the Spirit.

As we prepare for Mother’s Day, remember that we are all connected and God wants to use us to bless, nurture, support, mentor and “mother” somebody. Whether you have a healthy or unhealthy relationship with your biological mother, this weekend, thank God for the gift of life, praise God for your mother, look at your belly button and remember that you have been nurtured. Begin to count the ways!

For more information on Triple Negative Breast Cancer, visit

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Until next Wednesday,
In Faith, Hope and Perseverance,
Pastor Chris

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