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Mt. Constitution

Sunday, March 25, 2012

Prayer Shawl Ministry - John Ulmen

"Community is like a large mosaic...a fellowship of little people who together make God visible in the world."  - Henri J.M. Nouwen.  A small group from the  Cursillo community, sprinkled with prayers from the Prayer Shawl Community, made God visible as we presented a prayer shawl to John Ulmen on Friday evening.   Around Christmas time John didn't think too much of a nagging cough and subsequent bronchitis diagnosis because he's suffered with Asthma for years.  But in January, Cindy insisted he get a chest X-Ray.  The visit with physicians after that changed his life in a moment.  He eventually received the diagnosis of lung cancer!  Since that time the medical team in Lewiston has been preparing him for surgery in Seattle on March 28th.  The visit with John and Cindy impressed me because of their evident, and often expressed, faith and gratitude.  They said, "we're grateful because the cancer is Stage I."  How does a healthy person like John get lung cancer?  It could be from his own cigarette smoking (quit years ago), second hand smoke, or stress.  John works for Rogers Motors and has sold cars for years, trying to make quotas and revenue projections.  Cindy mentioned the doctor ordered job restrictions recently - "John can work no more than 40 hours each week."  She giggled and said most people only work 40 hours each week, but that's a gift to John to only have to work 40 hours now.

John often expressed concern for others who are suffering with back pain, heart disease, and other medical issues right now.  "So many people are suffering, but look at me - I feel great, but I have lung cancer," he said.  John and Cindy blessed us - Fred, Jack, Regina, Marcia, Jim, Rita, and myself, with their attitude and gratitude.  We wrapped John in the prayer shawl and prayed, " May John feel God's presence and gentle, yet strong touch as he faces the reality of his cancer.  Let this shawl be a reminder that his friends will continue to pray and offer comfort during this journey." We hope that the shawl is a visible reminder of how much God loves and care for him and his family.  

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