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Jesus For Diabetics

True Hospice

 

I have a friend I’ll refer to as “N” whom I have great respect for.

She is brilliant. She is highly intellectual and still deeply spiritual. I believe that she can succeed at anything she puts her sizable mind and imagination to, except to explain to me the meaninglessness of cancer, pain, and one Jesus Christ.

She believes that Jesus is powerful and merciful; that the Son of the Creator of all things cares about even the most mundane human lives. I once subscribed to that theology until cancer struck my wife.

Since then, I have prayed to the Almighty Christ to take this cancer away from a person so undeserving of it.  When that didn’t work I prayed that she be relieved of her crushing pain.  It took a while, but eventually we found Stanford and their medical excellence.  In fact, Stanford inflated our hopes with their cutting-edge surgery, but eventually that hope deflated to what is now our current lives. My wife can longer walk, but her pain is controlled with methadone and a customized hospital bed, along with incredible support from friends and hospice.

“N” sees our journey as one guided by a merciful and caring God. I see it much more like we are the passengers tossed around in a car accident with no airbags or seat belts.

“N” empathizes with our existence, but she cannot see Jesus as anything but compassionate.

I on the other hand find it difficult to feel a guiding hand during the puking, pain, and various and sundry insults to my wife’s body. In fact, as I write this, we are waiting for a call from a hospice nurse. It is 9:41 pm on a Friday night. It reminds us of the numerous other phone calls we’ve had to wait for, or the harried visits we’ve been forced to make to emergency rooms in the middle of torturous nights much like this.

Look, I’ll be blunt. Theology is great, but if it doesn’t translate into the trench warfare we find ourselves in then it’s not of much use to us. We would believe in anything-ology that changed the taste of the dirt we find ourselves crawling through to extend a life very much worth extending.

Someday, I will pray to Christ to accept my wife’s innocence into his bosom.

Another day, I may stand in front of this same Christ and explain my lack of faith and trust, but I cannot believe in a sweetly flavored Savior that allows this.

My hope is that “N”, and Jesus, can understand.

 

 

One Response to “Jesus For Diabetics”

  1. B.K. says:

    Bob,

    My heart goes out to you and Carole. May you both find strength and peace on the unknown journey ahead.

    Until he died a few weeks ago, I cared for my husband, who was diagnosed with Stage IV widely metastatic prostate cancer six years ago at age 55. Like Carole, he bravely endured many treatments and we too had our hopes raised by a complex, incredibly painful spine surgery. And, like you, I raged at God as the disease stole my once strong husband’s ability to walk, blurred his vision, weakened his wonderful voice, and chipped away at longtime friendships.

    It got to the point where I blurted out: “I am SO mad at God.” And my guy–not a churchgoer, not an overt spiritual type–replied: “That’s pretty stupid.” At loss for words, I just waited, and he went on to finish his thought: “God is a lot bigger than you.”

    On the surface, I think he meant that it’s a waste of time to pick a fight with someone you have no chance of defeating. But, when I mulled it over more, a second meaning came through–God is indeed a whole lot bigger than me, than both of us and our 30 years of love, than all of humanity for all of time. And in that bigness, that vastness, lies a perspective that is impossible for my puny soul to see, at least for now.

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