The Kindness of Strangers

July 9, 2015

Walk with Larissa Kwong Abazia, Vice Moderator of the 221st General Assembly, as she lives through cancer. This and other reflections will appear on the web page "Each New Day."


 

 

It was certainly unexpected to uncover that  cancer has a way of bringing people together. When I was first diagnosed and even to this day, I have received gifts and messages from congregations, presbyteries, and individuals reminding me that I am in their thoughts and prayers. This has been one of the most powerful parts of this illness: the kindness of strangers to reach out in expressions of God's love even in the midst of challenges. Often I envision hundreds of hands lifting me up to the heavens, closer and closer to the warmth and light of God's care. It is a gift that goes beyond words.

 At the Presbyterian Women's Churchwide Gathering, one woman leaned over during worship and said, "I am a 31 year survivor. You'll be fine."

 A parking attendant at the train station took my payment for a spot, looked at my headscarf and said, "Not many people can rock a bald head ... but you do it well!"

 A smile and nod in my direction as a stranger passes by on the street, giving me encouragement.

 An envelope arrives in my mailbox stuffed with cartoons that incite laughter or copies of artwork that bring a smile to my face.

 A recipe shared over Facebook for sangria ice pops ... not a bad idea to cool off and relax!

 And another gem from my son who tells his class, "My daddy shaved his head so he would look like mommy."

 Thank you for these wonder-filled moments!

 

  1. Since I met you at COGA, I am continuing to pray for you and to be inspired by you. You are amazing -- a gift to so many. We all thank you.

    by Kathy Matsushima

    July 9, 2015

  2. Hi Larissa, we worked together in Racial Ethnic Dialogue Group. I was at the PW Churchwide Gathering and I saw you with your bandana. I wondered if you are undergoing chemo and now confirms it. I will be praying for you and your family.

    by Miriam Layus Murthy

    July 9, 2015

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