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Faith Comment published in the Petersfield Post

14 February 2018: Susanne Irving, Life Church Petersfield

Valentine’s reflections

Nowadays we associate Valentine’s day with romantic love, but when I researched its origins, I noticed that the various “candidates” associated with this day practiced love for their communities.

In the Bible, one of the metaphors used for the church community is the body. I got a whole new appreciation of this when my husband John got sick.

At first the doctors diagnosed indigestion, but when he developed acute jaundice, the talk soon switched to either a gallbladder problem or pancreatic cancer.

For the first time I checked out how the gallbladder, pancreas, stomach and colon are connected – if you had asked me which organ was the most important, I could not have answered that question. They all have to function correctly for us to remain well. In fact, I got to appreciate the importance of an individual cell.

We were told that if even a few rogue cells were found, it would mean major surgery, radiotherapy and chemotherapy.

Just as one cell in our body can contribute to our health or cause havoc, all of our actions and reactions can have an impact on others for either good or ill. In John’s case, we were blessed by hugs, prayers, lifts, poems and two nurses who cheered up an old gentleman with a birthday cupcake. So never think that what you have to offer is unimportant. We all have different gifts, talents and limitations. Don’t worry what others can do, ask yourself how you can help.

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