"When you enter the Valley of the Shadow of Death, things change."--Tony Snow
My respect and admiration for Tony Snow has only increased the more I have grown to know him. I first heard him when he would be a guest host for Rush on his radio show. Then I watched him on Fox News Sunday and then I became a fan of his radio show. He is a guy who has firm beliefs and principles, he is a man who loves God and his family and he's just a very nice guy. Unless you are a Kos kiddie I would think it would be very hard to dislike Tony Snow.
All of this explains why I was SO EXCITED when he became Bush's press secretary. Since then we have seen him deal with cancer with grace, strength, faith and optimism. When his cancer returned I had sent him an email just letting him know that I was praying for him. His response was very touching even though I'm sure it was the response he sent to all of us who offered up our prayers. Here is the email:
THE WHITE HOUSE
Thanks so much for the kind note - and for including me in your thoughts
I can't tell you how much I appreciate you thinking of me and raising my
name in prayer. Prayers have enormous power. They're good medicine - and
they certainly have lifted my spirits. I feel as if I have been borne on
the shoulders of thousands of friends, all of whom have made the ride
easier than I ever could have imagined.
We're blessed to live in a land where people just want an excuse to do
something good for someone else. Thanks for taking advantage of that
opportunity with me. Please encourage others to do it closer to home for
other friends in need. Kind words, notes, emails, and small gestures
have a way of lightening the load, while making our own lives richer and
Again, thanks for the incredible gift of caring.
Last night, a friend of mine sent me the link to an interview that Christianity Today did with Tony Snow entitled, Cancer's Unexpected Blessings. It just reaffirmed why I think so highly of him and I was so impressed with his faith and his outlook on life. Here are some excerpts but I encourage you to read the whole article:
"...we can open our eyes and hearts. God relishes surprise. We want lives of simple, predictable ease—smooth, even trails as far as the eye can see—but God likes to go off-road. He provokes us with twists and turns. He places us in predicaments that seem to defy our endurance and comprehension—and yet don't. By his love and grace, we persevere. The challenges that make our hearts leap and stomachs churn invariably strengthen our faith and grant measures of wisdom and joy we would not experience otherwise.
We get repeated chances to learn that life is not about us—that we acquire purpose and satisfaction by sharing in God's love for others. Sickness gets us partway there. It reminds us of our limitations and dependence. But it also gives us a chance to serve the healthy. A minister friend of mine observes that people suffering grave afflictions often acquire the faith of two people, while loved ones accept the burden of two people's worries and fears.
Most of us have watched friends as they drifted toward God's arms not with resignation, but with peace and hope. In so doing, they have taught us not how to die, but how to live. They have emulated Christ by transmitting the power and authority of love.
Through such trials, God bids us to choose: Do we believe, or do we not? Will we be bold enough to love, daring enough to serve, humble enough to submit, and strong enough to acknowledge our limitations? Can we surrender our concern in things that don't matter so that we might devote our remaining days to things that do?"
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