"You're God. You Can Do Anything"
11-year-old Gloria Strauss' last stages of cancer and her devoutly Catholic family
JULY 21, 2007 (http://blog.siena.org) - There is a story on the front page of the Seattle Times today that has moved the city: 11 year old Gloria Strauss is in the last stages of cancer and a local reporter has been following the story of her and her devoutly Catholic family. Gloria's dad supports the whole clan on his salary as a coach at a local Catholic high school. His wife has MS. They have 7 children.
This is the 5th article in a series on Gloria. In a city famous for its antipathy to traditional faith, especially orthodox Christianity, the gospel is being preached via the media in a way that is moving thousands.
Since further treatment has been declared impossible, the family has turned to their faith. A huge support network has developed around the family. Prayer groups for Gloria meet every night of the week.
TOM CURRAN, A STRAUSS FAMILY FRIEND, has been directing a ministry to Catholics for almost two decades. For the past few weeks, he and his wife, Kari, have held a Tuesday-night prayer session about Gloria at their home. He visits the Strausses often to pray with them. In some ways, he is the family's spiritual adviser, but he refuses any credit.
Curran encounters a common question while praying for Gloria with others: What do you pray for?
He says people fear they are praying wrong. They wonder if they are good enough to be asking for a miracle. Curran explains the idea behind praying for Gloria.
"You're asking for Jesus to come close to this situation and to be who he is," Curran says. "You're saying, 'I want you, Jesus. Come close. Be who you are. And bring salvation.' That's the first miracle. When we say yes to Jesus and we come and we pray, in some mysterious way, God uses that.
"I pray with great confidence. I don't come seeking some thing. I come seeking someone."
It's a long article but be sure and read it to the end.
As the reporter, Jerry Brewer, puts it on his blog:
Gloria V is ready to go. I'm really excited about it now because I had to change the ending. This was -- and in many ways, still is -- the saddest story of the five, but Gloria does something at the end that leaves plenty of hope. That's all I'll say about it right now.
The story could've run as early as Thursday, but some other news events pushed it back a few days. At first, I was disappointed about that, but now I see why. If the story had been in the paper before Gloria's hopeful moment, it would've left everyone sad and even bitter. Now you should marvel at the girl's strength.
If you're not religious, you will say it's totally random, pure luck, that the story got moved back to allow for this development.
But if you are religious, you will say that God doesn't want the family or readers to give up on Gloria, so the story got delayed and allowed time for God to send a message.
Throughout this series, I've never forced beliefs on anyone. My job is to simply explain the Strausses' Catholicism and how it influences their lives. I owe that balance to readers, even though it means suppressing my personal Christian beliefs.
So take your pick on luck versus God's message. I will say, however, that one sounds a lot more hopeful than the other.
A prayer for Gloria
"You're God. You can do anything."