Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Learning From the Living

I have a buddy who is battling cancer. He inspires me. He is at work now, less than three weeks after enduring major surgery. Facing an uncertain future, he remains one of the most positive people I've known, expressing admiration for his surgeon, gratitude for his friends and a deepening love for his wife, saying "when God put her in my life He knew exactly what He was doing....she has truly been my heart and soul these many (35) years..."

He has said many times that the power of prayer is real, that he felt people praying for him during his hospital stay. His faith is astounding, yet reassuring. He is a walking testimony to living in the moment as he points out that none of us is promised tomorrow. He is bolstered by Proverbs 3:5, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding; In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths."

He told me he has at moments experienced a peace that passes all understanding, a reference to Philippians 4:7 which is quoted in church services with some consistency. This seems to indicate that he is preparing for any outcome, including passing from this life into the next. He said that any time spent worrying about what will be is time stolen. Whatever time he has left here, he wants to use it wisely.

This is not a new-found philosophy or an emotional crutch. This man has lived his life this way for years; his devotion to his faith, if taken at face value, is being rewarded. He believes God is at work in his life in infinite ways, the most obvious of which is an outpouring of love and support from people whose lives he has touched. "It has been very humbling to be the recepient of the grace of God through His people. You are all such a blessing and we thank God for each of you," he posted on a website dedicated to updating his surgery and recovery.

While no doubt focusing on his own disease and discomfort, he nonetheless takes the time to teach those around him about courage and faith. Truly, that is time well spent.

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