A person was upset the other day, and for good reason, because a friend of hers was diagnosed with a serious condition. The outcome is fairly certain in this matter. I knew of the situation, and I said in passing to this person that we would pray, and God would get us through it. Unfortunately I was in a bit of hurry, and did not have time to explain myself better, so the person was upset. She thought I did not understand the situation, or was implying that the friend would recover.
So I caught up with her later, and with another friend present we talked it through, and it was a good conversation because it opened their eyes to a different way of thinking.
See, what I meant is that yes, the one friend’s medical situation most likely will not improve, BUT, that does not mean the end. The friend can still be ALIVE, and not controlled by the illness. God gets us through a situation by helping us through grace to not be controlled by the situation. God desires that we be Alive. That is true victory. Death is not the victory of the illness.
What upsets me is when people say, for example, “they fought the cancer, and the cancer won” meaning the person died. That is really not a Christian expression. Christ tells us the death is not the victory of someone or something over us.
Cancer, or other illnesses, or other bad situations will win over us when we give in to it and let it have control over our lives. The bad situation wins, when we live but fail to be alive. It is when we let a given situation determine our identity.
When something bad happens, Christ has shown us we have a choice, we can choose to BE ALIVE or be the walking dead.
To BE ALIVE is to still love others and let ourselves be loved; it is to take every opportunity to find reason to be thankful; it is to appreciate the beauty that exists around us; it is to forgive anyone that needs forgiven, and to accept forgiveness; it is to be generous to others.
No illness, no bad situation does not have to keep us from being loving, kind, generous, grateful persons.
Yes, easier said than done, especially with serious medical issues when our bodies don’t have the energy…BUT I have seen it done. I have seen people in bad situations still kind and loving. They have been people fully engaged in living, even though some were in the process of physically dying.
I think part of my ministry as priest is to open the eyes of people to this realm. Not to given in to the vocabulary of the secular world or the medical world, but to live and speak the vocabulary of the faithful.
It is also my ministry to live it. Because as well, my personal tendency is to get sucked into the chaos of bad situations and be controlled by them.
Jesus Christ came so that we may have life, and may live it to the full. He showed us that no matter how bad it seems, God is present, breathing into us the Spirit. The Spirit to empower us to Love.
God will get us through it.