OK, first of all NO, I don’t have cancer, nor does anyone I know right now. In fact, I’ve been blessed to not have to see a family member or friend get eaten up by this terrible disease. I know at some point I may need to walk that road, and I pray that God will give me the grace to do so if that time comes.
No, I say this because of the deaths this past week of both David Bowie and Alan Rickman to cancer. To ME this is a blow because I KNEW these people, loved their work and cancer took them away too soon from the world. I know for others the pain of loss is much closer and much more pronounced that some pop star or celebrity. But allow me to “work with what I’ve got” for a few minutes.
Many people have written lovely pieces remembering and celebrating these men, and rightfully so. Others have written about the pain that cancer inflicts on the world. While others begin to ask the inevitable questions that come with these losses. Why? And especially why if there is a God who LOVES us, does He “allow” cancer to continue destroying and taking lives?
What I offer below is not “the answer” to those questions. I don’t claim to have that. These are things mankind will struggle with until “the end” (whatever that may entail). But let me just offer some food for thought.
How does God accomplish most of the “good” that is done in the world? Is the miraculous supernatural power of God frequently on display for all to see? Or does most things get done by ordinary people, inspired, directed, fueled and led by God, sometimes without their direct knowledge of it, to do good: to help, to heal, to research and learn?
Over the past 50 years, we have made HUGE strides against cancer. A diagnosis used to almost universally be a death sentence but NOW, for most cancers, the odds of surviving are in your favor. Certainly the research and medicine behind this fete was at least partially driven by people’s commitment to God and the compassion He placed in their hearts for people and the knowledge He gave them the ability to learn and expand upon. After all, we are His hands and feet.
So let us not grow weary of the fight. Let us push on towards the goal of eliminating cancer from this planet. Support research. Support science, medicine and education. Encourage young people towards this goal. They can and will tap into the love and strength that God supplies to reach for it.
In the meantime, God co-suffers with us. He mourns with us that we will no longer enjoy the continued musical genius, acting prowess and unique voices of these lovely men (at least in THIS life). He sorrows with you over the passing of your relative or friend from your life. He understands loss. He experienced it firsthand. And He is FOR us – our biggest cheerleader in this fight against all things that harm and kill people. So let’s press on and in His name Mess. Cancer. UP!
Please donate here: American Cancer Society. Every little bit helps.