Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Charis is a Survivor

Her parents named her Charis.
Greek for Grace.
And when they held their precious, bright eyed newborn they had no idea just how much grace she would need a little over a decade later.  

It was a Sunday morning just like any other...except that for Charis and her family nothing would ever be the same.  

She woke not feeling well.  Probably a flu...or a respiratory infection.  Surely nothing to worry about, but Mother and Daddy took her to the doctor just to be sure.  

What the doctor was supposed to say was, "Oh, it's a harmless little bug-nothing to worry about.  Take these pills and don't give it another thought."  That's what he was supposed to say.  What he actually said were the very words and Charis and Mother and Daddy Never.  In a Million Years.  Thought they would hear.  

An ambulance ride and many, many tests and pokes and prods and tears later Charis had a diagnosis.  It was a very long word that boiled down to "Buckle up...you're in for the ride of your life."

Charis was brave. 
She cried.
She prayed.
She hoped.  She believed.
And she fought.
Oh, how she fought.

Charis fought through her fears, she fought in her prayers and she fought even as she sang.

Charis sang her way through the uncertainties and the What Ifs, through the darkest of nights, through the painful procedures and the illness that followed.  She sang beautiful, sweet melodies full of Hope and Faith and "My grace is sufficient for you."  And in her songs Charis brought Hope and Light and Life to others.  Thousands followed her journey, believing with her, praying for her and ultimately being transformed by the story she told.  

Sometimes Charis would ask, "Momma, why would a little girl get cancer?"  The answers are hard coming.  But maybe it has something to do with these verses from 2 Corinthians: 

"Praise be to...the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in our troubles so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.  For just as we share in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ."

Charis' song, her smile, her faith and her hope were a comfort to people she would never meet.  She was an encouragement to thousands who would never have been touched had a little girl not gotten cancer.  Sometimes, on the good days, that knowledge was enough.  

Charis is still fighting. 
She is still singing.  
And one day Charis is confident that she will stand on a mountaintop, whole and healthy and proclaiming with great joy, "I. Am. Healed!"

And the fight will have been worth it.