I’ve lost count at this point of the number of my friends and loved ones who have died or been confronted with cancer in the past six months alone.
What an evil disease it is, mysterious in the way it randomly undercuts the health and vibrancy of people of every age and ethnicity.
Our Lord created a glorious world–a living, breathing world that provides us with all we need to sustain life: clean air and water and plants for food and all things wonderful and great we need. (Never mind that we pollute God’s good, green creation to no end.)
Our Lord provides us plant life, by the way, that has given us medicines and cures an relief for many cancers and so many other diseases.
But because we inhabit a living, breathing planet, that planet can be a dangerous place. We have to live with the beauty and glory along with danger and evils that include disease.
Years ago when I was a hospice chaplain I had a young patient who was a rodeo bronc rider with a lot of promise as a pro. He was a wonderful Texas gentleman, as quiet and soft-spoken as he was fearless. Not the cocky, swaggering cowboy type at all, but all cowboy for sure.
Within six months of a cancer diagnosis he was dead at age 27.
He was his mother’s only son and thus the only grandson of a wonderful Florida couple. I became very close to a lot of families of hospice patients. Any pastor or hospice caregiver will tell you that walking with folks at the end of someone’s life tends to create an immediate, intimate bond, even if the folks you’re caring for were strangers to you just last week.
The family of this young cowboy I walked with is one of the few families with whom I’ve remained in constant contact since I was in hospice care in the Northeast Texas Piney Woods, back in 2009-10.
Today, the cowboy’s mother Angela is having her first round of chemo for cancer. Her Floridian parents, Maxine and Red, have been at her side for weeks now, fearful that having lost their beloved grandchild, they’re in danger of losing their beloved daughter.
In an email update this morning the mother asked me to pray because she is scared for Angela.
I’m thinking of Angela and all those struggling through cancer this morning and can share this prayer I sent them.
I thank you and praise you for Angela this morning.
I ask that you be with her and touch her with your healing powers of endless love, extravagant grace and tender mercies.
Be with her doctors and nurses and caregivers. Work through their hearts, hands and skills to restore her and bring her to wholeness and health.
I ask that you be with her mother Maxine and father Red. Keep them breathing in the comfort of your loving arms.
Lord I’m thinking this morning of all those many people everywhere suffering the fear of cancer and cancer treatments today.
We know that you don’t cause suffering, Lord, but rather that you walk with us through our darkest valleys of fear and pain. For that we thank you and praise you.
I lift up to you my friend Angela and her family and all those suffering from cancer and fear this morning, asking that you keep them wrapped up in the full measure of your healing, calming love.
I ask all these things in the name of Jesus Christ my Lord and savior.