He asked me at breakfast this morning if I was praying for him. Well, of course, I’m praying for him. How could I not be?This met with approval. Upon inquiry he tells me that the details he will glean from tomorrow’s doctor appointment will help him find the words to tell the extended family, the church, and the rest of the world. It’s not that he lacks the words to share the horrendous news he’s already shared with his very closest family members. He just used normal, everyday words to handle that one evening, two weeks ago….a night I’ll never be able to chase from my memory. He wants these doctor-provided details so that he can then provide the world-at-large, though not all at once, mind you, with a very precisely worded PRAYER ASSIGNMENT. You see, everyone praying needs to be praying IN AGREEMENT. We need to be praying the same thing. We can’t have some people praying for complete healing while others are off willy-nilly praying for “comfort as he dies.” Or at least that’s his theory. My theory says that it’s better to pray NOW and that the Lord of the universe is very capable of translating the weak, imperfect, but heart-felt prayers of his people into what they should be & doing powerful things with them, but I know little, and it is not my story to live or to tell, so I respect his wishes, and we go with his theory rather than mine.
These men talk of praying “violently” in agreement that he be healed completely of his “generally terminal” cancer to the glory of God, fully BELIEVING that he will be healed. Of course I would love nothing more, and I do pray for his healing.
HOWEVER, I also have another perspective. Because of our family history of heart disease, including his, I’ve always expected him to die of a heart attack, or maybe a car accident. One day I’d get that horrible phone call, you know? At the funeral, I picture myself wishing for one more day….. for some chance to go back, for a little more time to say what I wanted to say, to take more photos, to get some hugs, to say good-bye. Now here I am today, instead. I’ve been given maybe a six month warning, maybe three months, maybe a year…some indeterminate amount of time…to do all those things that I would have wished for at that funeral.
As I see it, I have two choices. While I’m praying, I can believe, Believe, BELIEVE that he’s going to be healed and then be utterly devastated when he dies next summer and stand there at that funeral WISHING I had done all those things while he was alive….still somewhat healthy even….OR, I can continue on praying, pleading with God as I have been, but beginning to say good-bye now. I want to love him as much as I can in the next six months, absorb as much as I can in that time, with an eye to it slowly fading to what is likely to be a really terrible end.
If I am then pleasantly surprised by his healing, wouldn’t that be a wonderful ending to the story? I’d tell everyone about the wonders our God had performed for us.
If He chooses not to heal him, though, it’s not that He doesn’t perform wonders, but that we live in a fallen world, and that this is his time to go. Since my brain surgery, I feel things in a HUGE way, and this is going to be excruciating, but I’m choosing to take advantage of this advanced warning I didn’t expect to have. I’m going to take this next several months to say a really LONG, LOVE-FILLED GOOD-BYE to my beloved father.
Regardless of the outcome.
<3 you, Dad.