Friday, November 22, 2013

When God Drops Something in Your Lap

This post appears on my other blog, Questioning my Intelligence, today, too. I hope you'll think about helping.

A few weeks ago, I posted on my stamping blog about keeping Christmas simple and asked readers to comment about their own plans for simplifying Christmas. One of the more than 50 comments stood out. Here's what a reader named Jane wrote:

Well -- on Sept. 28th my husband fell out of a tree while trying to help his 98 year old mother by trimming her trees. He broke 7 ribs in multiple places and his wrist. A week later we found out that our 4 year old grandson had a cancerous tumor on his kidney and within four days they removed his kidney and adrenal gland. After a second surgery for a bowel obstruction he is now starting chemo and radiation for his stage 3 cancer. So Christmas by necessity will be simple. The first thing I did was to give myself permission to not make my Christmas cards this year. So I have a good start on next year's cards! The other thing is to ask for help. So my son and his wife are coming tomorrow to help us decorate our Christmas trees. I think our simplest Christmas was the two years when we were missionaries in Africa.... we could not give or send cards or gifts... so it was very freeing. Yes we missed family terribly but the tension of the holidays was gone and the focus was where it should always be!

I asked Jane to send me her grandson's address so I could send him a Christmas card, and she did. I stared at that address for at least a minute without blinking. Then I prayed.

Seriously, God? What do You want me to do with this?

Because Jane's grandson, whose name is Jonah, lives ten minutes from me. Could this be a coincidence in the big, big world of the World Wide Web? Perhaps.

But probably not.

I believe God dropped information on my hurting neighbor in my lap, and as I prayed about what to do that might be useful, I realized Jane was my best guide.

Fortunately, Jane shared that Jonah's family is surrounded by the love and support of family, friends, and church. His mom, Molly, started a Facebook group for Jonah. You can read it HERE. Molly combines their daily experience with Jonah's cancer and an amazing witness for faith and leaning on God. Jonah and his parents are facing an unimaginably challenging situation with grace, courage, and generosity.

Most efforts I could make to help are unnecessary and would probably would feel intrusive. But card making brought me and Jane together, and card making feels like the best way to respond.

Because who doesn't love getting happy mail?

I'm asking my readers to shower Jonah and his family with cards for Christmas. Store-bought, hand-made...doesn't matter. If you have children, perhaps you could ask them to draw pictures or make cards for Jonah.

Let's shower Jonah in love and support as he fights this thing.

Email me at susanraihala at roadrunner dot com for my mailing address, or you can click here for an email link. I will collect all the cards and drop them on Jonah's doorstep periodically. If you choose to continue sending cards after the holidays, I'll keep delivering.

Sending cards is one small thing we can do to lift this family up. Another is to pray for them. If you pray, please add Jonah to your prayer list and to your church's prayer list.

God's grace, peace, love, and healing mercy are descending on this family in their time of trial. I'm so happy to be a small part of that. Will you join me? 


  1. I will absolutely join you! Will drop you an email right now to verify your address (I think I have it). God bless you, dear friend.

  2. Great initiative. Of course I'll join you. The card is already waiting to be posted tomorrow. Hugs, Ankie

  3. Susan, you are a sweetheart for doing this! Thank you.
    Btw, happy birthday!

  4. Susan -- thank you so much for doing this. I am humbled by your love, God has used you to bless us through this. Thank you, too, for all who respond. I may never know you personally but I am touched that you would care so much to do this.

  5. I will definitely prepare several cards for this! Thank you for inspiring such kindness and consideration! Hugs, Audrie

  6. I'm going to e-mail for your address too. With a small family, with the youngest grandchild 9, I'm struggling for the magic of Christmas that comes from big gatherings and excited children. So glad you are sharing your lap.

  7. Susan, I've posted your message on my blog and have asked members of the Outlawz challenge group to help out. I will pray for Jonah and his family and I hope you get a ton of cards for this little man.

  8. Susan, I'm with you, too weird and I don't believe in coincidences anyway. My kids are 27 and 25, but I'll ask them if they could maybe draw a picture of a Christmas tree or something for Jonah! :) As a matter of fact, this Thanksgiving I'm having some pretty cool people visiting including a nephew-in-law and he may be bringing me a US Navy Seal hat and I may just ask him if I can send it to Jonah. Let me know what you think of that. I also happen to work next to the White House with some Secret Service agents -- I hooked up my nephew with a selection of baseball caps when he shaved his head, could you ask if Jonah might like a couple of hats too? I could get a White House hat and a Secret Service hat and probably an FBI hat with little trouble. I could ask around for Navy, Army and Air Force and Marine hats if he's interested. marydelrey56 at man dot com

  9. I will love to send him a card... Please provide the address where I can send it... White light is coming your way!!
    thanks so much for bring this to light..
    Much thanks

  10. I'd be happy to send him off a card...sending you an e-mail! :)

  11. I'm so glad you shared this...I found you through Joyce's blog, and I would love to send a card. I certainly think God's hand was in this. He is truly a loving God.


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