It is Good Friday, and I sit with my father at the Simon Cancer Center in Indianapolis, numbly listening to a team of well-meaning research doctors. My dad has bravely carried the burden of advanced prostate cancer for over a year now, each day providing a shining example of amazing strength and spirit.
He soldiered through months of intense chemotherapy and miraculously went from being bed-ridden to feeling almost like his old self again. Earlier this month, he flew to Arizona and played golf. But a week ago, the cancer snuck back during the night and attacked quickly. Today he breathes heavily, winces occasionally, and struggles to rise out of the wheelchair. Damn cancer.
On Easter, we are reminded that we have a loving heavenly father. I am fortunate to have a loving earthly father as well. He’s not perfect, like Jesus, but, oh, how he has loved. My parents will celebrate 55 years of marriage on April 1. As a husband, he has loved. My sisters and I know that as a father, he has loved. As a dentist, Sunday school teacher, neighbor, basketball coach, choir director, community leader, friend, and grandfather, he has loved. Well done, good and faithful servant.
I get my dad home from the hospital and drive to my church, blinded by the tears I’ve been holding inside. There is a Good Friday Cross Walk today. I can’t get there fast enough. I need to talk to Jesus about my problems. God, I’m selfish. I stumble through the stations of the cross, unable to focus on Jesus, who was cruelly betrayed, unjustly convicted, and brutally crucified. At each station, I cry harder, “Jesus, please heal my dad. Take away the cancer. Let him live.” And then I hear it.
He will live. Forever. Without pain and suffering. In a place more beautiful and peaceful than you can ever imagine.
And I can breathe again. Thank you, Jesus.
~Think On These Things~