November/December 2006
In the midst of trials, hope reigns

I had cancer. There, I said it.

Recently I was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer of the appendix. This set into motion a dizzying array of medical and financial issues. Acknowledging that I had, well, you know, c… was probably the most difficult thing I had to do.

I dreaded going to the M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas. I knew I would be surrounded by medical professionals and cancer patients. It turned out to be a positive experience.

In addition to getting a good report, I also witnessed an incredible fellowship. I saw hope being administered and received in a fresh way. I saw cancer patients leaning on each other, on their families, on their doctors and nurses and on God. I saw people deciding not to give up. I saw doctors and nurses in waiting rooms literally holding the hands of patients trying to get them through a difficult day. And I saw people who came grasping for straws given new purpose and resolve.

I almost felt guilty intruding on this “fellowship of the Big C,” as I have come to call it. Mine was a relatively simple consultation over a cancer that was no longer there, and I felt fine.

When I think of the loving way that the M.D. Anderson staff presented patients with beautiful ribbons of hope to wear proudly on their spirits, I am humbled.

Isn’t that what God is calling the Church to do for those sick with sin, a disease far worse than cancer? Let us renew our commitment to be dispensers of eternal hope.