Some moments are too good, too tender, too achingly honest not to capture in time. I snapped this photo of my brother and sister-in-law yesterday. Dan and Julie. Dan was very recently diagnosed with multiple inoperable brain tumors. There is nothing that can be done except to make the best of his time which remains.
Dan is unable to walk or speak. The left side of his body no longer functions and he rarely opens his eyes. He communicates with gestures.
Julie remains faithfully at his side. She continually asks him if he needs a drink, if he is hot, if he needs a tissue. Dan responds with “thumbs up” if she has assessed his need correctly.
I sat by watching, silent prayers and lumpy throat, as Dan briefly opened his eyes and rested a bruised arm on his wife’s shoulder. Unable to speak, he simply held her gaze for a few moments. But words were not needed and I think, truly, would have interfered. Dan’s eyes clearly and more than adequately stated, “Thank you for taking care of me. You are going to be okay.”
How can we bear this? How can we carry it all? There is pain and suffering at every turn. Without hope, it is impossible to bear.
So what can we do when cancer has robbed physical capabilities and modern medicine has nothing left to give?
Where there is no hope in this life, there is still hope to be found. Jesus offers us new life in Him. Life that will not and cannot end.
Our only hope is to turn AWAY from sin and self, TOWARD a God who loves, forgives, and saves. To embrace the redemption that is ours if we place our faith, steadfastly, in the finished work of Jesus on the cross.
With hope in Jesus, the heart is still able to rise, joyfully anticipating eternity in heaven, when this life has pushed beyond our threshold for pain and fear and loss.
Hope takes hold when we realize that the grace we so desperately need has already been given. Grace be with you, my friends.
The law of the Lord is perfect,
refreshing the soul.
The statutes of the Lord are trustworthy,
making wise the simple.
The precepts of the Lord are right,
giving joy to the heart.
The commands of the Lord are radiant,
giving light to the eyes.
The fear of the Lord is pure,
The decrees of the Lord are firm,
and all of them are righteous.
They are more precious than gold,
than much pure gold;
they are sweeter than honey,
than honey from the honeycomb.
By them your servant is warned;
in keeping them there is great reward. Psalm 19:7-11