Thursday, November 21, 2013

A letter to Santa

Several blogs over the past two years have been devoted to telling you about a young man named Zack.  To bring newcomers up to speed, Zack suffers from an inoperable brain aneurysm and has undergone numerous treatments, four dangerous surgeries, countless doctor visits, and he just keeps on going.  In our local newspaper this week, there is a story about Zack that mentions his second surgery.  His family was told following that surgery in 2008 he would not live longer than a year.  Here we are in 2013 and he continues to bless people daily with his determination and his faith. 

If you remember, a couple of years ago Zack was asked about his favorite animal and he replied, " a zebra, because it reminds me of the Bible verse that says, 'by his stripes you are healed.'"  It was also Zack who wanted to play soccer but was advised not to do so by his doctors.  Zack told his mom, "If I can't play soccer here, I will play soccer with God when I get to heaven."

Other highlights of this amazing young man include the receiving of his wish from the Make-a-Wish Foundation with a trip to Disney World. The front page of Tuesday's paper shows Zack at the Disney park, standing in front of Space Mountain.

I hear regular reports on how Zack is feeling, and it is understandable he has some good days and some that are not so good.  He knows and fully understands his prognosis is not good, yet he keeps on going and coming up with ways to help others.  So what is he up to now?  Zack is busy gathering up letters to Santa.  His own letter to Santa is also featured in the newspaper article.  In the letter he tells Santa to bring him lots of books to help him with school and help his brain to remember things.  His wishes continue when he asks for his brother to come visit from the Navy.  But get this, Zack says, "What I want most of all, is to make a difference in peoples' lives."

Getting back to those Santa letters Zack is gathering.  He's sending as many as he can to Macy's Department Store in their campaign to support the Make-a-Wish Foundation.  Zack was blessed with his wish in November of 2011, and now he wants others to be blessed with their wishes.  For every letter to Santa which Macy's receives, they will donate $1 to the foundation. Zack is the spokesman for our city and all its elementary school students as they work in a campaign to flood Macy's with Santa letters.  Anyone from anywhere can write a letter to Santa and send it to any Macy's, and the store will honor their pledge of a $1 donation.  But, you will have to send a bunch of letters if you are going to outdo Zack. 

I write this to you today, not only to honor Zack for providing another great example to us, but also to prompt us to follow Zack's example.  You and I bump into people every day who need a friend, or a hug, or even a smile.  Yes, there are those we can help with a monetary donation, or groceries, clothing, school supplies, or any number of things.  More than that, they just need to know someone cares.  That's what Jesus was teaching us when he told us to love others as ourselves. 

Oh yes, and Zack, concerning your wish to make a difference in the lives of people, you have been doing that for years, and it seems like there is no end to the blessing you continue to be.   God bless.


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