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Faces on Faith: Never give up

By Staff | Sep 24, 2019

Rev. Larry L. Marshall

For many of us, it is difficult to sit still very long. We believe that an active lifestyle leads to a productive and healthy future. I am one of those people. Over the years I have bought into what many call “Holistic Health.” Holistic means taking care of the whole person; body, mind and spirit. Paying attention to all three achieves balance, knowing that if one part breaks down it can affect the other two. Breakdowns happen to all of us. We may have good intentions but circumstances arise that can drain us in all three areas.

A few years ago Jim Valvano was the head basketball coach at North Carolina State University. One year they became the Cinderella team in the NCAA tournament. Playing a powerful team in the championship game, no one gave them a chance to win. In a miracle finish they beat the odds and won the championship. Not long after, Jimmy Valvano was diagnosed with terminal cancer. In the midst of treatments Jimmy V never stopped helping others. Today there is a Jimmy V cancer foundation that carries on the fight to find a cure. In one of his last appearances, Coach Valvano ended a powerful message by saying, “Cancer can take my body, but never can take my mind and soul.”

Over the years I have spent many hours visiting people who were experiencing some type of trauma of mind, body or spirit. It seemed they were in a very dark place, yet somehow became a light to others. What I witnessed was a person who seemed empty but was filled with the fullness of God’s love. As a chaplain at Children’s Hospital in Columbus, I had the opportunity to work with gifted health professionals. Working as a team we did everything in our power to restore holistic health to all patients. But, as most of us know, being a caregiver can drain you. During these times it was the children who filled us with renewed hope. They demonstrated unwavering trust and hope. Every year Coach Jim Valvano’s message is replayed. Never give up! Cancer can take my body but never take my mind and soul. Whether we are filled or empty the good news is Jesus calls us to come to him, “all who are burdened and heavy laden.” When we trust as a child he gives rest to our soul.

The Rev. Larry L. Marshall is the pastor at the Captiva Chapel by the Sea.