Saturday, November 10, 2012

The Other Side of the Street

We live in a world that is enlivened by opposites.
We see contrasted elements of texture, color and design in creation. Rugged cliffs edged by peaceful waters. Blankets of soft fresh green grass surrounded by ancient stones. Billowing gentle clouds often announcing fierce downpours.

In our lives we can experience deep sadness that gives birth to great joy. Laughter that turns to tears or the light of peace that pierces the darkness of dread. 

From these vastly differing and changing landscapes, we can ascertain that the way things are are not the way they will always be, and that where we are is not where were going to be forever.
Actually, it is pretty amazing how quick things really can shift.

I was thinking about this concept in terms of our experiences and how we relate to those around us.
Somedays recently I have thought things like ...”Today I will have the grand goal of getting up and getting dressed!”
But then, I actually get up get dressed  feel better and then find myself outside of the house and around people ( this is big these days, though I believe it will not always be like this.)

But in this season, this cautious pace has caused me to slow down, not only physically but also mentally. ( no wise cracks here ok..:0 )
To have the opportunity to see things and people at a more deliberate pace is a blessing.
I believe there is always someone opposite us. Someone across from us that we can see and affect or be affected by no matter where we are.

For example, my daily trips for the last 20 days have taken me to Radiation Oncology at UMC. Sitting in that waiting room, I have seen many people “across” the room from me
A young anxious mom with a bald headed teenager in pj’s. Another bald headed teenager with his dad, toting an IV pole. A middle aged man telling someone, anyone who would listen, that he hasn’t been able to drink water for a long time and that they are going to try to teach him how to eat starting tonight.
A women in a wheel chair with a bandage on her neck seeking to sooth the burn of radiation.
These are just a few. 

Now there has been a day or two when I have made it there and stumbled into the back room for an IV fluid infusion to deal with the dehydration that chemo and radiation can bring. (Not poor me please, I’m just thankful that the Lord provided this treatment and it helps so much!)
On those days, I have to think that I was the one across the room from someone else and they reached out to me. The nurse with her comforting ways, the receptionist who got me situated quickly, saying kind words and those who reached out in prayer across the city from their homes or across the county through emails.

But, as I find myself on better days, I can then again see the others across the room,
And, I can pray for them, perhaps offer a word of hope, encouragement or camaraderie or maybe just a smile.

I believe we are all meant to cross the street and touch those around us in some way, when and as we can.

The example that comes to my mind is that of a man who was on a journey and on his way, passed through a “racially tense” situation
He dared to overcome personal obstacles crossing the street of prejudice, busyness, and inconvenience to touch someone very opposite him in what they were experiencing. He was having a good day. They weren’t.
Let’s look at the difference his gestures and choices made.

Luke 10:25-37

25 And behold, a certain lawyer stood up and tested Him, saying, “Teacher, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?”
26 He said to him, “What is written in the law? What is your reading of it?
27 So he answered and said, “‘You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your strength, and with all your mind,’ and ‘your neighbor as yourself.’ ” 
28 And He said to him, “You have answered rightly; do this and you will live.”
29 But he, wanting to justify himself, said to Jesus, “And who is my neighbor?”
30 Then Jesus answered and said: “A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, who stripped him of his clothing, wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. 31 Now by chance a certain priest came down that road. And when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. 32 Likewise a Levite, when he arrived at the place, came and looked, and passed by on the other side. 33 But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was. And when he saw him, he had compassion. 34 So he went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine; and he set him on his own animal, brought him to an inn, and took care of him. 35 On the next day, when he departed, he took out two denarii, gave them to the innkeeper, and said to him, ‘Take care of him; and whatever more you spend, when I come again, I will repay you.’ 36 So which of these three do you think was neighbor to him who fell among the thieves?”
37 And he said, “He who showed mercy on him.”
Then Jesus said to him, “Go and do likewise.”

For those of us who want to make a difference in our worlds, Jesus’ final words in this account are our source and strength.
“ Go and do likewise”

There is always someone across the room or across the street or across the city or county that we can reach out to with compassion and touch.
A phone call, a prayer, an act of mercy or practical help, an all important visit to listen and just sit with someone suffering. These are all great gifts that may cost us some comfort, but trying to exist only for our own comfort is a sickbed of it’s own.

Perhaps today you are the one that finds yourself on the side of the street needing a good Samaritan to cross over and encourage you.
If so, post your prayer request here. There are lots of prayer warrior princesses ( and princes I dare say..:) out here who will pray. You are not alone. And He hears every cry of our broken hearts.
“Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.” 1 John 5:14-5

If you have a story of a “good Samaritan” touching your life. Briefly share it here. It know it will encourage the rest of us to “Go and do likewise.” 
I’m so excited! I  just love stories!

And always remember, Jesus literally Cross-ed the street of suffering to show you His great love.

“Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus, who, being in the form of God, did not consider it robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, taking the form of a bondservant, and coming in the likeness of men. And being found in appearance as a man, He humbled Himself and became obedient to the point of death, even the death of the cross.”
Philippians 2:5-8


  1. This comment has been removed by the author.

  2. My parents were trying to sell a bedroom set and were not able to. They then decided to call a woman in their church who just moved from a mobile home to a house to see if she could use it. The woman said her teenage daughter had an old worn out single bed and had just asked her if she could have a new bed for Christmas. The woman said "we'll see" because she herself had just gone through breast cancer treatment and money was tight due to expenses. The teenage daughter is at a retreat this weekend and my parents took the bedroom set over and set it up. Now she has a nice surprise to come home to! There was a reason my parents couldn't sell that bed! No request is to small for God. He even answers a request for a bed! Amazing.

  3. I've found myself the closest to being in the will of God when I have set aside worry over my cancerous condition to reach out to others with cancer or those that serve them everyday (family, medical staff). God prepared me to be a tool now by sending lots of Samaritans out to help me when I needed it most. Thanks be to our Lord Jesus Christ for drawing us ever closer to Him through cancer!

    Praying for you and your family!

  4. I have a friend who is a young mom with 3 kids ages 9, 7, and 4. She lost her husband to brain cancer 10 months ago. I have found that every time she is having a bad day or needs some encouragement, the Holy Spirit will prompt me to pray for her and call or text her. It takes courage to "cross that street" into someone else's pain but if we just listen to the Holy Spirit and obey, He does the comforting through us! Lisa, I am praying for you and I know the light of Jesus is shining through you in that sad little waiting room!

  5. I remember when i was so wanting to take my girlfriends sadness away as she lost her husband to liver cancer at the age of 36.She had two children under 6 years and she is my best friend.As i was asking God to please just give her one day of not crying and feeling overwhelmed and to please give me her burdens.I remember kneeling in my closet sobbing to the the Lord and wanting so much for her to just be happy for a moment.The next day i called her to see how she was feeling and she said "Kimmie,you know what? I had the best day today" And the funny thing was I had felt God moving.I smiled and thanked God:) It is amazing how he lets us know he is with us always.

  6. You have "crossed the street" for me with every blog you have written. You don't know me, and I only know you through your blogs, but I want you to know that you have touched the very deepest parts of my heart with your wisdom and courage. I look forward to getting to know you someday in our Father's house.

  7. I am going through a hard time with my health. I am also having a hard time getting dressed or even brushing my teeth each day. I will be in remission sometime; but I try to learn everything I can from the isolation this health flare up is causing. Lisa, I could share a book of time others have crossed the street for me. The one thing I would like to put forth here is the awesome things that prayer requests may send your way. I cannot recommend doing a prayer request enough. I have been in the hospital and now home too much recently. I may be lying down asking God for strength to get through the next hour, when suddenly a wall of prayers wash over me. I feel so lightened and know there are so many people I am not able to meet who have sent a tsunami of prayer over me. I bless everyone who takes the time to answer my prayers; and I try to pray for others in my home sanctuary now. The power of prayer is something I wish for every person on this earth. Bless all who answer prayers!

  8. I was driving in our neighborhood shortly after we moved in. I waved to an older gentleman who was walking a cute little dog on the corner on a street before ours. He waved back but it was like he was waving me over to the curb, so I pulled over. He hesitantly said to me that he thought he was lost. He said he couldn't remember which street was his. His wife was sick in bed and he had taken the dog for a walk. I ask him if he had his wallet in his pocket and he did. I looked at his license and he was one street away from his home. He was scared. I told him I would drive him home. He got into my car after I explained that I was a neighbor, with his dog, and I drove him to his home. I ask if I could come in. I talked to his wife, who explained that he was in early stages of alzheimers and was getting confused. She had the flu. The next day after church, I took a meal to them for dinner. When I got to their door, he remembered me and announced to his wife that their angel was there. To this day, we are good friends. I am so grateful God put them in my path. I love this couple and have learned so much about them and have seen how they work together through this with joy and without complaining. They are lovely!

  9. Lisa, I am praying for you and your family. I really love being a nurse because I find lots of people who are waiting across the street. It was one of those days I didn't want to go to work because I was tired, but the Lord sent me anyway. I prayed that He would use me for His purpose. That day I had a patient who had come in for a suicide attempt. She was lying in bed with her head turned and she was very sad. I touched her arm and asked her, "What's troubling you, Sarah?" (**Not her real name). She turned to me and her heart spilled out. Her brother had gone to prison. Her boyfriend was cheating on her. Her childhood had been all messed up. And she was certain that God was mad at her because she tried to take her life. I told her that the Lord was compassionate towards her and loved her. And if she gave her life to Him, all would change for her. I continued in the joy of the Lord and at the end of my shift, she told me she had thought about what I said and that when she went to bed, she was going to give her life to Jesus. I said, "Why wait, I can pray for you now." She wept in her hospital bed as she gave her life to Jesus. It is a joy to watch the Lord's compassion touch lives all over Tucson. I consider it a privelege to store the Word of God in my heart and share Christ with those who are hurting.

  10. Hi Lisa Furrow, I have 2 very special people in my life..Karen and Sudy who have befriended me these past 6 years. They have taken care of my 9 yr old daughter since 3-5 including her in their family activities and taking her to school every day without fail...I am in a wheelchair and not able to leave the house by myself. I know God has provided these women to assist me...every day I am so thankful that they have come into our lives..when my husband had stomach cancer surgery chemo...not working for 4 mos...God sent people..neighbors, co-workers, church family, bosses, family..everyone came at the right time to assist me..rides food Christmas presents.....I use to think God worked magically, all at once...He works logically weaving and working according to His purposes...and still does. My husband and I went for MRI's recently for cancer screening for him and I saw so many people in various stages of life and medical issues...and I looked for you... I don't know what you look like but I saw these individuals with the same needs as you....I did pray...for you and them.

  11. You are the one who always cross-es the street for me, my encourager, my entire life! My Sweet Lisa, how I love you so. You give up your own comfort for me and provide me this very extra special love and compassion, always. All of the big things and all the little things too! Thank you! I am so very blessed with best sister anyone could ever have, the most special, delightful Sunshine! You are that special someone in my life who shows me what it looks like to "Go and do likewise".

    I love you my precious.

  12. Hello Lisa,
    I heard about your health troubles when I was in Phoenix, AZ recovering from a brain tumor. Thankfully it was not cancerous but the recovery has been a challenge. I now live in Colorado Springs and Tina Carson ( whom I just reconnected with on FB) sent me your blog.

    I want to let you know that I am led to pray for you on occasion.
    This is a beautiful song. I hope it encourages you.
    You Make Beautiful Things Out Of The Dust by Gungor

    I have an encouragement blog you might want to visit. You can read my personal story by going to CATEGORY and scrolling down to MY BRAIN TUMOR STORY

    Cheryl Zelenka

  13. My husband and I are keeping you in our prayers Lisa. We keep your family in our prayers as well. Seeing that you haven't written since 11/10/12 we are hoping that you are feeling well.

    Our hearts ache for this season you are in right now.

    Charlie & April Rodriguez

  14. I am also checking back every day Lisa Furrow...your name comes to mind in the early am's.

  15. Words fail me. I just pray that all of us, together, can lift you up to the LORD and have HIM answer our prayer's for the return of your health.

    Kathy Emmerich

  16. This comment has been removed by the author.

    1. Thank you for your words of wisdom. You pointed us to continually to Jesus and His heavenly realm. Rest in His eternal peace, Lisa.

  17. Rest in peace, Lisa. You have a beautiful soul. We will see you again, when we get to Heaven. Until then, we will miss you so much!!


    Your Biggest Fan

  18. no no no =[ many words that Glorified our God...I will often come back to read and persevere...Thank you Lisa Furrow.

  19. I will rise when He calls my name....No more sorrow, no more pain... I will rise when he calls my name... No more sorrow no more pain....Rejoice with the Angels .... Rejoice....we will miss you.....

  20. Lisa, Im watching your memorial right now from Tn. You meant the world to me and I want you to know that, but I spose you know that now if you didn't. Ive needed you so much for the past 5 years... so much. You always told me what to do. lol. Ive been lost, but watching your memorial, was like being with you again. I remember that you didn't always tell me what I would expect to hear from you. Sometimes the answers you gave me shocked me a bit. But I know right now, you would tell me to seek after Jesus. I love you. I miss you, but Im lucky, Ive gotten used to missing you for years. My heart goes out to your beautiful family. Missing you is new to them. I pray I will be with you one day. I know we will sing make songs together... songs to the Savior. :)