Friday, September 5, 2008

On Life and Death

My sister-in-law nursed my brother during his illness and was with him (along with my nephew) when he drew his last breath. That may sound dreary or depressing to some, but it wasn't like that for either of them. It was peaceful because he was at peace. My sister-in-law, OJ, said you try to imagine what it's going to be like but death is not what you think. One last sound and the person is no longer there. "Where did you go"?, she asked as she kissed him one last time. A body is just a house.
When you hear the word CANCER, your biggest enemy becomes FEAR. When they heard the diagnosis nearly two years ago, my brother and OJ prayed right away and put their lives in the hands of God. My sister has been diagnosed with lung cancer twice so she knows full well about overcoming fear, too. Eighteen years ago, about a month after my mother died of cancer, I heard the word TUMOR. Strange as it seems, I could feel fear attempting to come in but I remained at peace. The doctor looked at me strangely, waiting for me to break down. I never did. Why? Because almost instantly, I remembered something God spoke to me years before: "Take care of your daughter." I took comfort and firm assurance in those words sitting in the doctor's office. I wasn't leaving this earth just yet; a dead mother cannot care for her daughter. And since God told me to take care of her, I knew He was taking care of me. The tumor was benign.
"Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff comfort me." Psalm 23:4