Sunday, September 02, 2007

A Rock, or The Rock?

I just have to share with you all an email I received the other day from Annie, an amazing lady whose kids are in our Christian children's theater group (but their whole family gets involved in every production, even those they vow to take off!). She is the (un)official cheerleader for our group--and last February she was diagnosed with cancer in multiple areas of her body.

So this is what I was thinking the other morning, at 4:30 am to be precise. Charlie Brown trick-or-treats with his friends on Halloween--remember "It's the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown"?--and as they walk away from each home, there is great discussion of the variety of candy they receive. Charlie Brown peers down into his bag each time, anticipating a tasty morsel, looks up and declares with a sullen voice, "I got a rock."

Sitting in the exam room and listening to the ER doc explain that something else came up on the CT scan for my diverticulitis that day back in February, I felt much like Charlie Brown did. Immediately in my head I said to myself, "I have cancer." Plain as day, matter of fact, no great emotion, but rather sullen. "I got a rock.... " No tricks, no treats, a rock. If I was a person who believes, as the Charlie Brown character does, that I always gets the raw end of the deal, I suppose that sullenness would have continued throughout these past few months.

I am, however, somewhat of a hybrid mix of Peppermint Patty, Snoopy and Linus. So the term "I got a rock" for me became a shout of gladness...I GOT A ROCK!!!!!!! I do have a rock-- the best kind of rock, one that will never waver, not a rock of the disappointing sort but one of great joy!

There is no Rock like our God, no other name, worthy of all our praise, The Rock of salvation that cannot be moved, He's proven Himself to be faithful and true!!! (One of my favorite praise song lyrics.)

Thank you for all for your prayers, thoughts, emails, cards, hugs, tears, handshakes, bald head rubbings, jokes, childcare, meals, housekeeping, yard care, support, and smiles! I cherish all of these blessings- this disease has brought me closer to you and to God and I am ever thankful!

I told you she is amazing. She's doing amazingly well too--chemotherapy shrunk her tumors way more than they expected, and she just had surgery to remove most (all?) of them.

We have another friend with cancer, John Fawcett. (His blog is here, and his wife Margie's is here.) John is not doing so well, and when Papa Rooster and I brought dinner to them recently, he was in a great deal of pain. He was exhausted from calcium leakage from his bones, where the tumors are, into his blood.

We had the most wonderful dinnertime conversation about what God was teaching them through this. We discussed how one prays with faith for healing when the prognosis is dire. In the face of bleak circumstances, I have asked myself the same question: Do I really have faith to pray for total healing? Should I better pray for comfort and acceptance of God's will, whatever happens?

They shared their impression from the Lord--and this is my paraphrase--that while there is life, it is a time to fight, to do battle. I was immediately reminded of my own experience, when my youngest was in critical condition, on a ventilator with RSV and severe pneumonia at five weeks of age. I have told the whole story here,...but just as I was praying to be able to accept God's will, no matter what, God let me see the warrior angel He had sent to do battle for Bitty Bantam's life, and it almost came as a reprimand from the Lord. There might be plenty of time later to pray for acceptance--but this was a time to fight!

After dinner, we had the privilege--and it felt like just that--of praying for John, and Margie. It is a privilege to participate with the Holy Spirit in intercession, isn't it? He gave me prayers to pray for John that I never would have imagined before we went to pray. He filled me with a faith that surprised me.

Margie said in a recent post:

We are asking God to teach us how to pray in line with his desires. Does God desire for John to live a full life and raise his children to maturity? Absolutely. We are learning to ask for what we do not have--health--and wait for God's response. One of our desires in this process has been to learn to pray for physical healing.

...I am embracing a growing feeling of being a fool in faith. There is no earthly reason for hope or faith, and yet we continue to grow and change through Christ's love and mercy to us.

I share all this in the hope that it builds your faith too--that it gives you a Rock on which to stand...that when you are asked to pray for health and life, against all reasonable hope, you too will be empowered to DO BATTLE.

1 comment:

elaine@bloginmyeye said...

Oh, we too have joined with John and Margie in this battle. I have only briefly met Margie, but John and my husband have become friends. And I too feel like God is of late teaching me how to pray regarding healing in many different situations, of which this is one.

Also, my youngest was hospitalized with RSV at 7 weeks. It was a scary time, but one in which I seemed to know everything was fine--even when things didn't look that way. He is still young enough that we sometimes have episodes of wheezing, but thankfully, has had little other ill effects from the illness.

I LOVE the Charlie Brown analogy!