Vickie and I are in New Jersey this week to remember and celebrate the life of our sister-in-law Lisa Semple who died on December 23 from breast cancer. Even as Lisa endured increasing pain and limited mobility, she was determined to finish work on an art exhibit called “Faces of Cancer.” Using her gift as an artist, Lisa completed 20 portraits of people who dealt with cancer, some survivors and some whose lives ended. With each portrait, she included a short written description of that person’s journey. On Saturday, the month long exhibit opened at the public library in Cherry Hill, NJ. Around 200 people attended the opening - a very diverse group all of whom were connected through relationships with Lisa and/or with the subjects of the portraits. There was a sense of grief that Lisa did not live to host the exhibit. Yet along with the grief there was a powerful spirit of love and unity. At the end of the day, cancer did not win - Love Wins. This reminded me of the following quote by the late writer and spiritual leader Henri Nouwen:
There is no clearer way to distinguish the presence of God’s Spirit than to identify the moments of unification, healing, restoration, and reconciliation. Wherever the Spirit works, divisions vanish and inner as well as outer unity manifests itself. (from Life of the Beloved)
Thank you Lisa for using your life and your gifts to bring people together to experience the unifying and victorious power of love.