It has been almost 9 full months since I broke my arm. Almost 8 full months since I was diagnosed with osteoblastic osteosarcoma. Almost 7 full months since I began chemotherapy and almost 2 months since I had a bone allograft. As I sit in the main lobby of Vanderbilt University Medical Center waiting for my room (most likely on 8-south), I am reminded of all the people God has allowed my wife and I to meet. A couple where the husband was battling a spreading cancer (he died last month, his wife taking comfort knowing he’s in God’s hands now). A gentleman from Alabama waiting on his wife to get out of surgery. Mary, a nurse in the cancer oncology clinic lab, who has been a friendly face almost every time I’ve had my port accessed. Betsy-Kay and Frannie, whom have always had a smile and encouraging word. For Amy in admitting who couldn’t wait for me to not have to come back anymore. The nurses of the 2nd Floor infusion clinic (basically out-patient chemotherapy) and the wonderful nurses, care partners, and staff who have made my stays on 8-south memorable and yes, even enjoyable.
As I sit here nearly in tears over all that has happened, all the wonderful people I’ve met, I can’t help but remember these people. The friendly faces. The ones who didn’t make it. Right across the street is the children’s hospital where life and death are just as real for the littlest patients as it is for the adults. We live in an awesome period of history. God has provided us with so much in the way of good things. Yet what do we do with them? Squandered resources, petty fighting, constantly wanting nothing more – in general – than to fulfill our own needs without thinking of others.
I’ve only been asked once how can I believe in a god who allows evil, who allows poverty, who allows disease, who allows famine. Yet I look around me and not only do ethnicities and skin colors melt away, but so does famine. Poverty. Disease. Evil. Not because of anything man has done. Not because Vanderbilt exists. These things melt away because people have allowed God to work through them and in them. Some without realizing it. Some who reject such a notion. Yes, especially those who embrace Him. 9 months on and I’m still alive, ever thankful for all He has done and has allowed to come to pass. 9 months on and I have a closer relationship with Him than I had ever before.I sit here, waiting for my room on 8-south, knowing that today might be filled with unspeakable horrors no further from me than I can see out the window, but I don’t turn outward for my comfort, my peace, or my salvation. Man cannot provide those things for himself, much less others. 9 months on, and I still turn to God and praise Him with my every fiber and last ounce of strength.
The Lord reigneth; let the earth rejoice; let the multitude of isles be glad thereof.Clouds and darkness are round about him: righteousness and judgment are the habitation of his throne.
A fire goeth before him, and burneth up his enemies round about.His lightnings enlightened the world: the earth saw, and trembled.
The hills melted like wax at the presence of the Lord, at the presence of the Lord of the whole earth.
The heavens declare his righteousness, and all the people see his glory.Confounded be all they that serve graven images, that boast themselves of idols: worship him, all ye gods.
Zion heard, and was glad; and the daughters of Judah rejoiced because of thy judgments, O Lord.For thou, Lord, art high above all the earth: thou art exalted far above all gods.
Ye that love the Lord, hate evil: he preserveth the souls of his saints; he delivereth them out of the hand of the wicked.
Light is sown for the righteous, and gladness for the upright in heart.
Rejoice in the Lord, ye righteous; and give thanks at the remembrance of his holiness.
Emphasis added is my own.