I have observed the last few days, while the synapses have been firing again, that an amazing assortment of people have been ministering to me in my need. Many have done this through prayer, and those who don’t pray have demonstrated their concern in other meaningful ways. I am in awe of everyone’s kindness and concern.
This process of being cared for happened largely without my notice, or the evidence of things done for me was simply lost on me in my drug-addled state. I want to acknowledge having received cards and letters, phone calls, emails, personal visits, blog postings, fresh produce and even flowers (I’m not dead yet!) from friends and family far and wide. We have had several incredible meals prepared for us, which the whole family has appreciated.
The prayers were especially timely, as I know people have been in touch with God about things that I have had a hard time talking to him about myself. This has not exactly been a time of spiritual growth. I know God is in control, and his spirit is with me, but I have had no special insight into why any of this is happening. It simply is, and God is giving me (us, really) the resources to carry on. I believe the same things about God and his character today that I have always believed. The difference now is that I’m staking my life on those things being true.
In addition to being ministered to I believe, perhaps more profoundly, that I am also ministering to all of you. In a true community, none of us suffers alone. We bear each other’s burdens. Learning how we do this is a process; most of us have to be taught. Some of us are fortunate to have learned by experience how to care for those who, at least temporarily, aren’t able to do certain things for themselves. That’s where I have been recently, and may be again in a matter of hours.
By allowing others to bear my burden with me, I am sharing not only my life but I believe I am also sharing a part of God himself. I do this out of a sense that God wants me to use this tough part of my life to bring certain people to me, and for some of the best things in them to be expressed. Some of the words that have been shared with me in recent weeks have brought me to tears—not just because they were heart-felt, but also because I know only God could have prompted them to be expressed.
I would never wish cancer on anyone, but let me assure you that there are worst things that can happen, based on what I’ve experienced. This has been a blessing not only for me, but it has also been, in a manner of speaking, for you and my extended circle of friends. My illness is giving some of you a chance to experience God in your life, and to see him at large in the world. I take no credit for this, other than making myself available to be the recipient of your care. It’s no stretch of the truth to say we’re all in this together.