Sister Mary Olivia of the Dominican Sisters of Saint Cecilia

Over the years, while receiving treatment, I have had the privilege of praying with friends from all walks of life. Friends who were Asian, African American, Hispanic, Indian, Middle Eastern, Christian, Agnostic, Jewish, etc. There have been people who were wealthy and poor, successful and day laborers, young and old, a formerly incarcerated inmate covered in tats and today I met and prayed with two nuns.

Sister Mary Olivia is a nun with the Dominican Sisters of Saint Cecilia and while she does not have cancer she is wrestling with a chronic auto immune disease which is treated using chemotherapy. This sister and her friend and fellow nun are passionate followers of Jesus and they are full of love and energy. It was an absolute blast for me to meet them and pray with them.

This is yet another reminder chronic illnesses are no respecters of race, creed, nationality or faith. Illness is an equal opportunity offender, but while illness is set on destroying those it targets often it has the opposite effect on their spirit. Like the sisters I met today.

Yes, there were those today who were dragging around and throwing up in wastebaskets, heck…I’ve been there. There were also those who are attempting to squeeze the life out of every moment, even while enduring a treatment. Sister Mary Olivia is one of those.

She promised she would invite my family and me to their home here in Nashville and I cannot wait to go. Yes, cancer sucks but there are benefits to suffering and today I experienced one of them first hand, I made a friend.

There’s no doubt in my mind God was looking down on the nuns and me this afternoon with a smile. When our kids get along and play well with other kids it brings us joy and I don’t think God the Father is any different.