A Window into Life in the Suburbs

"Consider how the lilies grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you, not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these." Luke 12:27 (NIV)

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Meditating on The Topic of Cancer

Those of you who have followed this blog since its early days know that I lost my mother to heaven through cancer two and half years ago. Although mum's final leg to heaven was relatively painless and peaceful, I would never trivialize the emotional ordeal that sufferers and their families go through.
(One of our lovely MOPS mums has been diagnosed with Hodgkin's lymphoma and if you're so led, do keep her in your thoughts and prayers, especially as she has a couple of little ones. This family knows Jesus and have firmly put their trust in him.)

But the main reason why I've brought the subject up is because I came across a great post linked to and reprinted by the Jollyblogger. It's about good intentions...  the well-meaning well-wishers of cancer sufferers and the myriad of miracle cancer cures out there. I should say on the outset that both the Jollyblogger and the author of the original post are battling cancer.

When my mother was re-diagnosed with cancer in the brain two years after surgery, the person most at peace with the entire situation was my mother. I think she knew what the outcome would be and was ready see it through. However, because she was a woman much beloved by friends and family, everyone wanted to help. To do something. Anything. Everyone looking on feels utterly helpless in such situations. It's cancer after all. Those unfamiliar with such situations don't really know what to say or do. Some personalities are more of the doing kind so they cope with all facets of life by doing. Others are more the talking kind... they feel the need to fill the awkward silent gaps. Mum was generous and sensitive enough to let them.
I remember the steady stream of cancer cures that I heard about during the six months I witness mum's body gradually deterioriate. And there were many. Eastern, western and the usual faith healing diatribe. Because I did some of the cooking for mum and dad at the time, I became interested in appropriate diets for a person in mum's situation. With the internet at my finger tips, information was only a few clicks and clacks away. And by all there's good in the universe, there's a lot of information out there. So much so that your brain is likely to explode trying to take it all in.

Through this experience and listening to other stories, I'm convinced that there isn't a one-size-fits-all miracle cure. By the very fact that they are "miracle cures" should suggest to us the rarity and uniqueness of such occurrences. I'm the last person  to discourage anyone from eating well because we do want to maintain a decent quality of life but there's still so much about cancer we don't really know. While someone may have found the answer for their situation and written a book about it, it may not be the answer for someone else.

Christianity is at its core a "religion" of grace. As a Christian I believe in the absolute sovereignty of God and that we live and breathe at the approbation of our creator. We are wretched creatures... utterly wretched and so much a slave to our sinfulness. But the beauty of grace is that God seeks sinners and pulls them out of their wretchedness and calls them his own. There's nothing inside of us that merits it or anything that we do that can earn a place in God's kingdom... it's all God's grace. Likewise, there's no guarantee that any of us will escape suffering, pain of any kind but God's grace is sufficient to take us through whatever afflictions will come our way.
I don't know about you, but I find it terrifying... and comforting at the same time. The spectre of cancer lurks in my family's history and it could come to me down the track. But my prayer is that I will be prepared for whatever challenges lie ahead.

1 comment:

  1. Grace yes, and also the overwhelming sovereignty of God that if we were granted to see what Job saw our reaction as believers would be like him.


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