By: Darrelyn L. Tutt

She has cancer ...
not the kind of cancer that can be treated and cured, but the kind which accompanies words like:
Terminal. Incurable. Advanced. Progressive. Stage 4.
The kind of cancer attached to a mental grave stone.
That kind.
In spending time with "Cheryl" my compassion deepens.
Listening skills are broadened.
Understanding heightens.
Education increases.
Sympathy escalates.
Love intensifies.
Stage 4 love.
I am bettered and beautified through an "experiential closeness" with Cheryl.
Her life is broken down into hourly "bytes."
She allows me to feel and hear her deepest fears;
she entrusts me with her deteriorating self,
she tightens her grip, simultaneously, on my hand and soul.
She is becoming more and more of a naked soul.
Discovering more and more of her true self.
Displaying more and more of Jesus.
Cheryl's life is woven into mine by a redemptive, rich scarlet thread.
We are bound together for an eternity in Jesus Christ and "Stage 4" is a part of it.
Together we journey.
And I think to myself ...
The degree of love we experience is the degree of life we are willing to share with another.
And this is what makes all the difference.
Experiencing love ...
Stage 4.