Tuesday, April 10, 2012

So, what are your concerns again?

Got word from a long-time friend that her beloved spouse is being sent home from the hospital.
Into Hospice Care. 
They're predicting a couple of weeks until his faith becomes sight. 

What are your concerns again?

This is the culmination of a 10.5-year battle with cancer.

So, what are your concerns again?

They've been married 24 years, & dated 5 years before getting married.  They have children, the youngest of which is in 11th grade.  He's a stud pitcher for the local high school where they live.  This past Tuesday, he threw a no-hitter, which is a pretty amazing feat in baseball.  His Dad watched it live.

Via Skype from his hospital bed.

So, what are your concerns again?

My friend's attitude was once again very upbeat (all things considered), as it has been throughout this hellacious journey.  Ten and a half years of depths & dark nights of the soul that are beyond what most of us can imagine.  Ten and a half years of re-defining good news as "this cycle of chemo/radiation is over.  Rest up so you'll be ready for the next cycle."

So, what are your concerns again?

And yet, in the midst of sharing this with me about her beloved husband, get this:  My friend had only two requests: (1) "Would you please pray for us & our family?  This will be hard."  (2) "How is YOUR health & cancer situation?" 

Yeah...humbling beyond what I can describe here.  (My reaction must be all that pine pollen...or something.)

So, what are your concerns again?

My friend is a woman of considerable Christian faith.  A very deep & close walk with the Lord.  Very faithful in her church involvement.  If yours is a name-it-&-claim-it, formulaic approach to Scripture & faith, you should talk to my friend.  But only if you want to see your theology exposed as very deeply flawed and terribly incomplete.  Oh she wouldn't hammer your incorrect beliefs at all; I would, but she won't.  She's much too gracious & kind.  Just interacting with her, you would see that though she walks through the valley of the shadow of death & has done so for 10 1/2 years, she fears no evil.  She & her husband know the deep comfort of God's rod & staff, even when the medical news is bad.  They know that they have a placed prepared in the presence of their enemies (cancer, in this case), even when it seems the enemy is winning.  They know the goodness & mercy that follow them, even through the deep darkness that is painful & terminal cancer.  They have total confidence that he will soon dwell in the house of the Lord forever, and that one day, she will join him there.  Your "say-these-words & read-these-verses" theology will ring deeply hollow when confronted with the totality of the truths of Christianity as lived out by my friend. 

They've done a remarkable job raising children in a situation that's beyond any parenting situation I have ever faced.

So, what exactly are your concerns again?

Sorrowful, yet rejoicing; grieving but with hope,

p.s. - Would you join me in praying for my friend & her beloved hubby whose departure is at hand, and for their children?  I'll not mention any names, as she is so very humble.  The Lord knows who they are.

p.p.s. - Oh, for a day when a cancer diagnosis is similar to a flu diagnosis: some discomfort, some meds, & then good as new!  *sigh*  As you pray for my friend & her family, would you join me in praying for cancer researchers to find a cure for all forms of cancer?  I join SO MANY cancer patients in thanking you for that prayers.

p.p.p.s. - Maranatha!  Come, Lord Jesus!

No comments: