Sunday, September 20, 2009

Job’s friends

While I appreciate the good intentions of most people, I do wonder if people are the least bit aware of the message they send to someone who is chronically sick when they send them books like “Why Christians Get Sick” (like I got this week) or information on the latest health or vitamin craze that worked from so-and-so’s cancer (a totally different kind from mine). Again, I know people mean well, but it feels so much like the advice of Job’s friends who didn’t know well enough to stay silent in the face of long-term and unexplainable illness.

As my health continues to decline, I really don’t need to be told that I could have done something differently or that it is time to try some radical, unproven, expensive treatment. As I have shared before, we have decided not to pursue this approach, largely because there is pretty much no chance that it will do anything more than just make my remaining time nasty and unpleasant. Perhaps this is what I am going through now. And yes, I keep hoping for some relief from what I am experiencing. And I will look for that. But an ultimate cure? No, that is not on the horizon; of this I am sure. I just wish people could realize that life is more than living at any cost.


Joe Hendricks said...

I agree! Early on, with Heidi's 'incurable Stage4 metastatic BC' we started receiving either 'magic cure' emails or 'we're all going to die anyway' emails - I now try to act as a filter, making sure she does not see any of those well-meant, but unhelpful communications.

Jim McDowell in Kitchener said...

Yes, this type of helpfulness is meant well, but usually either insensitive or less than well-founded.

Your friend Ken Cullen and I just chatted about your recent blogs today and want to sent a "thoughts and prayers with you" signal just now. Also Pat and I plan to be in touch by phone soon.

What I'm kind of wowed by is that in the midst of all this, Glenn, you're blogging professionally and pointing to the huge issues in the world-wide family of God that need our concern, prayer and practical involvement. That you're still standing in this gap is something that I want to point out to the readers and also praise God for.

Michael and Rie said...

Hi Glenn, you don't know me at all (as I live on the other side of the planet!), and only know you via VOM connections and news. However, I'd like to say "good on ya" for this post, and your honesty. Yep, we Christians can be a funny (i.e. strange) bunch at times (a lot of times ;-)

Be encouraged for pointing your readers to larger concerns in the world around us, even in the midst of your own illness.

In Christ,
Mike Ardern

Your brother Jim said...

Glenn, your kindness in the midst of those "well-meaning" messages is, in my mind, amazing. It definitely shows the Spirit of God working in and through you. I wish my thoughts and feelings were as grace-ful. Thank you for being an example of God's grace and love.

Anonymous said...

You are truly an example of God's grace and love. The largeness of your heart in accomodating our brethren who are 'worthless physicians' or 'misearable comforters' is something quite touching.
My constant prayer for you is that the presence of Jesus will continue to be real to you and your family in the midst of all that He has permitted in your life and lives, comforting you and bearing you up through the valley of the shadow of... Oh Lord, show us all your mercy!
But yes, He has promised never to leave you nor forsake you - this truth is evidenced in you by the great grace we see in your life as you keep labouring for Him in the lives of our persecuted brethren. Lord, I praise you! Comfort (that's the meaning of my native name, Oluremilekun -'the Lord comforts me')