"Preach the gospel at all times, if necessary use words." - St. Francis of Assisi

Saturday, December 10, 2005

Don't Judge Me By My Bracelet

I've had these thoughts running around in my head for a few weeks now, and then saw a friend's blog and an article that generated more discussion, so I thought I'd share this with you. Not that it's relevant to your feelings, but it is where I have come in my thoughts.

I'm sure everyone in the world has seen the yellow "LiveStrong" bracelets that are sold for $1 to support the Lance Armstrong Foundation for cancer research. As you walk through schools, your office, the mall, your neighborhood, even on the television, we see these little bits of yellow rubber peeking out from under shirt sleeves and coat jackets. Not that I'm talking out of turn, because I have one myself. Is it just a fad? Is it just a trendy thing to do? Do we wear these for the reason that we really do support the fight against cancer? Or because the really cool Lance Armstrong wears one?

For the few of you who were alive during the 70's know how popular the POW/MIA bracelets were. It was a very similar thing to this. I wore one then, but it was because I knew the MIA and wore it in his honor in hopes that he would someday return home. Unfortunately, it was finally determined in the 1990's that he was dead and his remains were returned to his family now in Mississippi. For those of you who went to Washington DC with our church Youth Choir tour remember that I took that bracelet with me and left it at theVietnam wall under his name. It was an emotional reminder to me of a guy from high school, how life is so uncertain and the memory of him that I wore from1972 until 2003.

Now...back to the LiveStrong bracelet which I now wear. In my thinking about the reason I wear it, I use the same analogy as the POW bracelets even though they are not inscribed with specific names. I support cancer research, not just for celebrities and athletes, but for all of us. I wear my LiveStrong bracelet in honor of my dad who is a cancer survivor, in honor of Cindy George, Kimberly Butler, Millie McKee, Judge Del Buttrill, John Fitzgerald, of Donnie Schutz and the many others in my life who are surviving cancer at this point. However, I also wear it in memory of my aunt, Marie Cochran, of Lance Newsome, of Pete Hudson, of David Boswell (my little friend who died from leukemia when he was 15), and again the many more who did not survive the battle.

I wear the bracelet in honor of their memory, of the strength in their lives and of their families, of the legacy they have left behind for all of us. So, I have tried to make my wearing this bracelet a personal symbol of a hope that someday this disease will be destroyed, and it will be, even $1 at a time. I would urge you to not see people wearing the bracelets and automatically judge them as the fad of the month. We all have ways to honor our loved ones, as for me it is wearing a yellow bracelet for those who do truly Live Strong through their faith and trust in God as their strength and hope.

And for today my friends, this has been the gospel according to Jimmy.


At 9:17 AM, Blogger Maria del Carmen said...

I hear you. It's not about being with the program, following the trend, but carrying the message of hope.

At 12:04 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

What Cancer Cannot Do

Cancer is so limited….

It cannot cripple Love

It cannot shatter Hope

It cannot corrode Faith

It cannot destroy Peace

It cannot kill Friendship

It cannot suppress Memories

It cannot silence Courage

It cannot invade the Soul

It cannot steal eternal Life

It cannot conquer the Spirit

Isn't it so nice that all the great and wonderful gifts we have received from our Heavenly Father cancer can not touch.. Kim B.

At 2:32 PM, Blogger Hikingalong said...

Thank you for this post. I was the bearer of one of the POW/MIA bracelets back in the early 70's. I prayed for my soldier every day and hoped that he would return home safely to his family. I was saddened to learn that he was KIA. I kept his bracelet for the longest time and then finally mailed it to his family. It's a pleasure to see fellow Georgians out there but even more importantly than that to see fellow Christians out there in blogsphere! God bless you!

At 1:01 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would not wear anything that has part of Lance Armstrong's name in it. Talk about an ego. A better one for me would be the "What Cancer Cannot Do . . . "


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