By  Shelly Henley Kelly



“…he was born blind so that God’s works might be revealed in him.”~ John 9:3b

After three years, the cancer returned, painfully metastasizing into her leg. My friend steeled herself for the battle ahead, drawing unknown strength, again determined to fight for her life. Our work-related messages evolved into motivational quotes, including scripture and faith. When a badly twisted ankle sent me to Urgent Care, I texted that I was “offering it up” for her. However, she wasn’t familiar with the concept as a non-practicing Christian raised to believe in a wrathful God. Thus began our conversations about redemptive suffering.

As months passed with treatment strategies depleted, the doctors recommended amputation as a final option. But, before the plan could move forward, the tumor erupted, bleeding uncontrollably. Life Flight delivered her to an emergency room that cold December evening for immediate amputation. She survived and later confided to me that during the experience, she’d died. 


She described standing among many people she didn’t know, waiting for something. The place was warm, very bright and white, comforting and kind. She felt loved. A smiling man turned her around, saying simply, “Not now,” and she woke entirely at peace. Although she knew the cancer would take her life, now she’d glimpsed what awaited, and it changed her.

From then on, she never missed an opportunity to tell everyone she loved them. While she never gave up fighting, she prepared letters to family and friends to be opened after her death. Her cousin, a Christian minister, visited one weekend for a long, personal, candid conversation about God’s merciful love. She went into hospice a few days before Palm Sunday and died just after midnight on Easter morning. 


In today’s Gospel, Jesus and his disciples encounter an unnamed man who was blind from birth. The disciples ask who sinned that he was born blind, but Jesus tells them, “…it is so that the works of God might be made visible through him.” Jesus then heals the man, opening his eyes to see. Likewise, my friend’s suffering brought her to Christ and opened her eyes. She lived life out loud, teaching us by example about strength, positivity, and courage. And in her final months, she brought healing to others as she reflected God’s merciful and redeeming love to those in her community. God worked through her so that He might be made visible to others. 

Works of God

Where do we see God’s works of creating, healing, forgiving, and saving in our life? A glimpse of heaven creates hope in our weary hearts. We are receiving an opportunity to be healed spiritually–even if not physically and receiving forgiveness and mercy for our sinful life. How do we respond to these works? Do we witness God’s love out loud, inviting others to come and know and believe? Do we encourage them to seek Christ’s mercy through repentance and witness how the Lord opens our eyes and hearts? 




God, thank you for the struggles and sufferings that allow your works to be made visible to others.

Call to Action

 What are you struggling or suffering with today? Invite God to give you grace and strength to reflect God’s love to others through your actions and attitude.


Thank you to Shelly Kelly, a new WINE contributor!

Shelly Henley Kelly is a wife, mom, and native Texan. She writes with her sister at Of Sound Mind and Spirit and is a regular contributor to CatholicMom and SQPN.  Her publications include the award-winning Through a Night of Horrors: Voices from the 1900 Galveston Storm (TAMU Press, 2000) and as a contributor to Word by Word: Slowing Down with the Hail Mary (Ave Maria Press, 2015)




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