I read a story originally aired on WFLA TV in Florida about nine-year-old Jacob Thompson from Portland, Maine. He’s your average kid who likes Minecraft, Legos and Star Wars. His hobbies include photography, singing and telling jokes. And, most of all, he really, really loves penguins. He wasn’t on the news because of his love of penguins, however. Jacob has Stage 4 high-risk neuroblastoma. Doctors told his parents in early October that he won’t live until Christmas.
Because of his diagnosis, Jacob’s family decided to “fast-forward” Christmas so he could have one last celebration. For Jacob, at the Barbara Bush Children’s Hospital in Maine, this means a lot of snow, a decked-out tree, and of course, a real-life Santa Claus. But before his improvised Christmas celebration takes place next week, Jacob asked for cards from anyone around the world who wanted to share his Christmas spirit. Five days after he announced his wish, he has already received more than 100 cards from people all over the country — and even beyond. His dad said, “He got some cards from this Halloween, and he opened up and saw them and it was like getting a gift. He read it to us and had a big smile his face and his nose scrunched. He was excited to see what people had to say and it just brightened his day.” His stepmom said, “We got over a hundred, and they’re from all over the world. We have some from the Netherlands, from Australia, from Denmark. We’ve heard from all over the world at this point.” They received a card from Antarctica which is interesting because Jacob’s favorite poem, shown below, is Advice from a Penguin.
Dive into life
Find warmth among friends
Appreciate snow days
Take long walks
Go the extra mile
Keep your cool!
Along the theme of “do something”, I thought Saint John’s should do something for Jacob. Since we are gifted with prayer and sending prayer blankets, what if we sent Jacob some Christmas cards with our prayers for him and his family.
This Sunday, Judy Butcher is providing two cards for the congregation. After receiving communion please sign the card and say a prayer for Jacob and his family. Judy will mail the cards to Jacob in Maine. It is our simple way of sharing the Spirit of peace and hope during a time of Nativity joy and sadness for Jacob and his family.