what I do

what I do

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Light in the darkness

In February Brittany Barringer was told she has stage 4 lung cancer. She is only 55 years old and statistically she does not have much time left on this earth. The five year survival rate for her type of cancer is less than 10% and the median life expectancy is around 8 months (which means that 50% will live and 50% will pass away during the eight months after they receive their diagnosis).

I have never met Brittany in person but I know a lot about her. She was the teaching leader at Community Bible Study where a friend of mine attends (Good Shepherd Presbyterian Church in Los Alamitos) and for years I have heard so many wonderful things about her ability to hear God's voice and communicate her insights to others. Even though she has had to retire from her position at CBS she continues to bless people with her beautiful words through her blog at Caring Bridge.

Brittany's words have touched me. They are true and important and oh, so very much worth reading. I hope you will think so too. I would love if you would join me in praying for Brittany but also that you would listen to what she has to say during this incredible time in her life right now. You can read her blog by clicking here. The following is one of her posts.

TUESDAY, MARCH 8, 2011 6:04 PM, PST

“What I tell you in the DARK say those things (to others) in the light and what you hear whispered, (I want you to) proclaim on the housetops (for the whole world to hear!) Matthew 10:37

YES!  We all go through dark times and Jesus is acknowledging that in this passage. Then He reminds us that we should expect to hear from Him during those dark moments, it is a reminder to listen carefully for our Shepherd's voice.  We shouldn't miss  the point that He asks us not to tell others what He said until daybreak.  That's because we can't understand much of anything while we're stumbling around in the dark.

His voice comes to us in faint whispers.  Isn't that true. In stillness we are able to hear Him speak.  Sometimes that's the point of times in the dark, to quiet our busy worlds so we can be still and hear Him speak.  His whispers to our souls bring us light.  When we hear Him speak, those words are important enough to be shouted from our  housetops!  I say YES to that!


I had a whisper moment during all the torrental rain storms in December. As most of you recall  when it started raining in December it never stopped.  It started raining and then it rained some more.  After that it just kept on raining. Day after day after day buckets of rain fell from the sky.  After 30 years in Southern California this was the first time I felt the need to  purchase a pair of waterproof rainboots.  I began to wonder if things had gotten so filthy in Southern California God intended to wash us all down the sewers along with the rest of the local trash. 

On one of those dark stormy days I decided to venture out in the rain to run an errand. I had no idea I was about to be swept up that day.  Not swept down into the sewers like I feared, I was taken up into a Heavenly experience by a rather magical umbrella. It turned out to be a rather prophetic moment.

Bracing myself to meet the rain I kept my head down and stumbled out of the store behind another brave sole where we stood together under the awning where both of us were fumbling with our umbrellas.  That's when it happened.  When she popped her umbrella open Heaven suddenly popped open to me. I began receiving a divine download at the very moment.  

As this woman's umbrella began to open spreading wide under those dark skies I was surprised to see every panel of her umbrella was a different color.  Her umbrella replicated the spectrum of light, she was standing under a rainbow!   That light of truth struck like a bolt of lightning and I was suddenly caught up in a moment of wonderouls awe. So I cried out , "You have the greatest umbrella I have ever seen!  Look at your umbrella, it's a rainbow!  And when you stand beneath that umbrella on a day like this you are proclaiming something incredibly important to the world, especially at a time like this when we're all fearfully wondering whether God is trying to wash us all away. 

As you stand under that rainbow, in the middle of a storm like this, you are telling the world YOU believe God is a PROMISE KEEPER.
I'm never going to carry a dull, dead, black umbrella again. 
I want to give the world that hope, too.
I want them to know that even though many times the circumstances of this life play out in ways that convince us otherwise God has made certain promises and He will keep them.
Thank you for carrying that wonderful rainbow umbrella."

By the time I was finished she had an odd look on her face.
She made an attempt to nod and acknowledge me then mumbled something about Genesis and Noah to affirm I was correct in my assessments about her, but I don't think she really understood.
How could she?
That moment was meant for me.

In that moment, I had a sense Heaven had just opened up to give me something. I didn't understand it but I did experience it. 
Suddenly I had more faith than I'd ever had before and I was left with a feeling I was going to really need that heavenly impartation. 

God was offering me something.  It came in a whisper on a dark day.

In an instant I had the faith to believe in all the promises of God.  Something changed inside me. I found myself saying, "yes", "yes", "yes" to everything He was offering me. Yes, to His light on dark days. Yes, to sunshine in the midst of that rain! Yes, I believe, I believe, I believe in everything He has promised even when I don't see those things playing out in my life right now.

I drove home with that YES on my lips and new light burning brightly from behind my eyes.  Everything seemed a little better.  I didn't understand how that happened or why that happened but I understood I needed to recieve it fully.   

I think most people miss or even dismiss those moments when Heaven suddenly opens up so our Creator God can speak deep inside us.  We pray to a super-natural being and then never expect (or want) to have any supernatural experiences.  Or if we do realize we've just had a moment like that we get caught up in the awe and wonder of it but never take the time to really receive the message. 
The message is far more important than the moment

That Divine little moment left such a big impression on me I thought about it all the way home.  Then I talked about it when I got home.
I bent the ear of all my friends and everytime I told and retold that story I received a little more of its intended message.  Like Mary, I took that moment and pondered it in my heart.  

I had that experience in the month of December.
I was still pondering its meaning in January
That prepared me for the different kind of dark rainy days that began in February.  In March I am standing on all His promises.

I am still giving God my 'yes' to every moment.  
My heart is  still welling up with my answer, yes Yes YES YES. Yes, to all the promises of GOD no matter how much it rains.
Yes, I am still shouting it from my rooftop! 
Yes God exists. 
Yes He loves us. YES He wants us to know that.  YES everything is going to be ok in the end - He promised!

I know that because I am standing under the umbrella of His Word.


Carol@6WilsonBlog.com said...

Wow. What a great story. I'll say a prayer for her. I'm sorry she or anyone has to go through the darkness of cancer.

barb cabot said...

Sherri, thank you for this huge lesson. I will keep Brittany in my prayers.

L said...

That was awesome! Thank you so much for sharing that here today. God works in such mysterious ways, lessons come anytime & anywhere. How wonderful for her to have that firm foundation for these dark days she is experiencing. I will be praying for her as well. A beautiful illustration, I think I want to go out and get a rainbow umbrella!