Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Christmas, then Cancer

I'm going to say Merry Christmas. Even if you're Jewish, Buddhist, Atheist, Agnostic, or anything that isn't a Bible-believing Baptist. Have a great holiday season even if it's for completely different reasons.

There's a precedent for this. Just after Christmas in 2001 I was diagnosed with Cancer. This freaked me out a fair bit and I had my surgery scheduled for early January. Between that time and the surgery I told all my friends about the Cancer and the surgery.

I have a wide circle of friends. Despite being a Christian who believes the same as that unpleasant person who tried to save you, I try to be a friend to people who I believe differently than I do.

So, when I told my friends about my impending surgery, the response varied quite a bit. A lot of folks prayed and not all of them prayed in Baptist ways to the God of Christianity. My name was mentioned in the local Synagog. A Neopagan friend did something involving tossing stones into the sea.  People belonging to different religions prayed to different gods in my behalf. A dozen different Christian denominations interceded with the Almighty on my behalf. And my surgeon told me he said a Hail Mary for me. I replied, "Great! Thank you." My Atheist and Agnostic friends didn't exactly pray, but they did think positive thoughts toward me.

So, I went under the knife and they took out a grapefruit-sized tumor plus a handful of involved lymph nodes. During recovery, it seemed like I had a hotline to heaven. I'd pray for something and BAM God seemed to expedite delivery. It was impressive. I was tempted to ask for a winning lotto ticket and the thought came back, "don't push it."

Now, a stern old Baptist might object that God didn't hear those prayers addressed to other deities, but I figured the God I worship being omniscient overheard those prayers. I encouraged everyone to address the deity of their choice for me.

I'm not shy about what I believe and I try to always be ready to give reasons for why I believe as I do. This means I've enjoyed quite a few disagreements with folks who aren't Bible-believing Baptists.

When I got out of the hospital, I realized that I might doubt what my friends believe (or disbelieve) and I might deny it with reasons I find compelling, but when all those people were praying on my behalf, I could not deny that they cared.

The fact that they cared for me means a lot even if they expressed it in ways I didn't believe.

So, I'm going to tell you Merry Christmas. You may not give a fig about the Christ of Christmas, you may deny Jesus was born, and everything else I say about his life.

But don't deny that I wish you all good will and peace.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Those more worthy than I: