Monday, October 25, 2010


Cheryl lost her husband this year after a tragic car accident. After almost thirty years of marriage, she now sits without him in church on Sundays. It physically pains me to see her sitting with her teenage son and without her other half.

Elaine was diagnosed with breast cancer this summer. A brilliant author-speaker and mother of four, she is battling for her life. With little ones still to raise at home-my friend looks to Jesus for His peace through this storm.

Martha is my library-friend. While asking her for help on Friday she shared, “My son died this summer.”

Her words caught me off-guard. She was explaining the library’s new database, not small talk about family. Her words were out of place-shocking. It was as if her pain needed a release.

“Your son died this summer? I had no idea. I am so sorry.” Tears welled.

“He was only forty years old.” She continued—her eyes vacant. “They misdiagnosed his melanoma the year before. He lived six months and left behind my daughter-in-law and my three grandchildren, all under the age of eight.”

All three women were a part of my life last week. I call them Perspective-People; people who throw me a cold splash of reality when I make the little things in my life- the big things in my life. These three ladies don’t realize it; still they were on my mind and in my prayers.

My life is full of your generic everyday concerns like: is there enough milk for cereal tomorrow? Did I sign my son’s permission slip? Does my silver chunky bracelet go with my purple sweater? Perspective-People have outgrown the mundane concerns of the simple-minded like me. They drink from life’s cup deeply and inspire me to do the same.

Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow.
What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes.
James 4:14

Ask the former generations and find out what their fathers learned,
for we were born only yesterday and know nothing,
and our days on earth are but a shadow.
Job 8:8-9

Do you have any Perspective-People in your life?


Sheri said...

yes I do...and this blog post just helped me make a huge decision. thank you.
btw...yes the chunky silver bracelet goes with the purple sweater.

Lynn said...

Oh Joanne,

Perspective. I am humbled. Humbled... tears welling.

Thank you.

Charlotte said...

I drove my Mom to Bakersfield this weekend to see her brother who was there from Arkansas, attending his Mother-in-law's funeral. The day we arrived was the very day my Aunt (his wife) got the news that her only sister had stage-4 cancer and possibly only days to live. We drove for hours back home in the pouring rain...with our perspectives changed.

Erin MacPherson said...

Hi Joanne- Wow... this is very thought-provoking. The other day, I was in the hospital with pregnancy-related issues and the nurse came in to check on me. She told me how she had lost 8 babies to miscarriage and that really put things in perspective. Yes, my pregnancy is rough, but I'm getting a BABY out of it. And I have two healthy kids at home. That really put things into perspective for me.

I LOVED Kathi's bootcamp this summer. That woman is a genius. Do you know her? Email me ( and we'll chat about it sometime.

So, you're submitting a manuscript this week? What's it about? Good luck!

Faith Imagined said...

Those are some very difficult and very real life issues. I want to hug each of these women and you. I'll say a special prayer for everyone. Thank you for the dose of perspective.

Dawn said...

I read Elaine's blog (I don't know her personally and I'm not sure if you do or not). She is a huge blessing.

Don't beat yourself up about "getting" to live in the mundane. My hubby is a survivor, and all through his year long medical battle where he literally crawled out of the grave with his first treatment, we still had to sign permission slips and make sure there was milk for breakfast. In fact, these mundane things kind of kept us sane. They might for your friends, too.

Pray for them, be grateful for the mundane, and build your house on the rock. Storms do come...

PS - Glad to see ya back - missed ya! :)

Mari said...

Wow - yes, this does put things into perspective.
I have a friend who lost her husband at 42 to a sudden heart attack, leaving her with 2 daughters. They were 12 and 8. It's been 3 years now. She was just saying yesterday that sometimes she wishes for the simple things, like when your husband drops you off at the door of church when it's raining.

Barbara said...

every day perspective people touch our lives...sometimes unexpectedly and sometimes they are our friends or our any rate..they are all opportunities for us to share our compassion, the love ofjesus, offer peace and comfort to some who may no know...........these people should help to keep us being what we should be all the time. They touch our hearts and God is in our hearts.

Mariel said...

beautiful. elaine has been on my own heart and prayers too...she handles such a battle with the grace of a warrior princess. she is definately my "perspective person"!

Denise said...

Bless you for this powerful post sweetie.

Kristen @ said...

yes I do, thank you so much for sharing this and bringing it to attention. Some of the kids I babysit for lost their dad this summer to leukemia. It was unreal and it just pains me.

kellie bellmer said...

Yes my friend ~ and He keeps putting them in my life, to pray for, to speak truth to, to stretch me beyond my mind can comprehend. All for His glory, this I know ~ it is weighty, but purposeful, therefore glorifies my God, my Savior. xoxo

Lisa @ Stop and Smell the Chocolates said...

Oh this is a good reminder! I have friends in our little church going through all sorts of different trials and it helps keep me thinking of all of my "problems" as very small and insignificant. Also had a step-niece recently (out-of-state and didn't know her that well) unexpectedly die at age 31 from a brain aneurism, leaving behind 4 children. Very sad, no warning at all - she was very healthy. Definitely gives you some perspective!

Nana's Nuggets said...

Hi! Joann, wow! just kinda don't know what to say? this was a wonderful post, and mine today was on the very "Breath" of life! Thank you God of the reminders of this life! and how we must percieve that Life is so short! Make everyday count!! Blessings for a happy:) day!

Connie said...

So much food for thought. I too have some dear perspective peole. We can only be there for them - to listen, to help and to love.

BARBIE said...

I have come across many "perspective people" from my blogging friends, as well as those I know personally. I am truly humbled. It is situations like these that help me to keep my life in focus.

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

Perspective people...

Too many to name; how thankful I am for their pulse and witness in my life. They've helped me to vision past my pain to take hold of all that matters.

How wise are we to gain perspective in seasons of "normal and routine." It serves us well when the tides roll in.

Love you, friend.



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