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Marty's Journey with Cancer

This blog has been on its usual summer hiatus, but it’s not as if there haven’t been things to write about. I’m still too busy right now to keep this blog updated regularly, but I hope to return to it pretty soon.

Anyway, while I’ve been in the midst of my blog-matic slumbers, other people have been writing, and I thought I would call attention today to a blog — and a series of posts — that some of you may have missed.

United Methodist pastor and blogger Marty Cauley has been writing about his cancer diagnosis and its effect on his attitude and his life. He has been diagnosed with neuroendocrine carcinoid, and given only months to live. So, if you haven’t been aware of his blog you should find it and go through the archives. His reflections are very personal and very thoughtful. They end with a prayer. His blog is here:

Friday, July 12, 2013 he posted these thoughts:

Time is precious. We talk about living every day to the fullest, but usually live most days like we have an endless supply. Mortality is an interesting thing. We all give intellectual acquiescence to the idea of our mortality but live as though we are really immortal. I understand why, if we spent all of our time considering our mortality we’d succumb to being narcissistic, navel gazers and never get anything done. On the other hand, if we aren’t careful we allow the urgent to overwhelm the important when we assume that we can always make up for today by borrowing on our tomorrows. We leverage the future by sacrificing the joy of the present.

And, today he posted his thoughts on why he is not mad at God:
Why Bad Things Happen to Good People Or am I mad at God?

During times of difficulty it is so easy to ask, “why me?” That is because we can always think, in our comparative goodness theology, that there is somebody far worse than us that deserve this more than we do. Yes, I’ve sinned, but I know people who are way worse sinners that I am. So when trouble, sickness, and pain comes our way what we are really saying when we say “why me” is “why not them?”

When I got sick, I was in pain. A lot of pain. The kind of pain that makes you not fully aware of everything you are saying. The kind of pain where you don’t want anyone or anything to touch you. The kind of pain where it hurts to stand up, sit down, lay down, or walk around. There was no comfort. No escaping the presence of the pain. During that time of pain all I could think of to say was a breath prayer that has become part of my daily life for the past dozen years. I just kept praying, “Jesus Christ, Son of God, have mercy on me, a sinner.” Even in pain I knew that because of the sin that was unleashed upon the world I was just as likely to be the recipient of the consequences as the next person.

I, too, have been guilty of asking God, “why me?” on occasion. What I am learning to ask, however, is “why not me?” When the torrent of suffering was unleashed upon the world. When the wages of sin, which is death, flooded our existence why do we think that we should live consequence exempt lives? In a world where genocide happens, where children are starving, and we flood our bodies with chemicals why do we think that the sin of the world will never penetrate our lives?

Thanks, Marty, for sharing your journey with us.

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