When God Gives Glasses
Wisdom and power belong to God. Advice and understanding also belong to him. Job 12:13
As I look around the room I see Lori. Her wig is crooked and she has a nine-year-old and is losing her battle with cervical cancer. To her left is Paul, he has pancreatic cancer and in four weeks his wife Evelyn will lose her partner of forty-seven years. To her left is Beth, who has just had a lumpectomy, lost her left breast, and is beginning a chemo regime.
By contrast there is Michelle, supremely visible. Outwardly perfect, she is flanked by her two perfect-looking girlfriends. Their perfect world, perfect nails, and perfect make up suggest all is very well. But Michelle’s insides betray her outsides. Blonde and beautiful on the outside but bellicose and bitter on the inside, she’s losing her fight with aggressive breast cancer. Her trip to Japan to explore experimental therapies was a failure and she’s back in Orange County. In this room the big C is defeating OC.
I was twenty nine years old, a seminary student assigned to a clinical pastoral position in an oncology unit one evening a week. To describe this time as a defining moment in my life cheapens the real impact it made on me. God put his glasses of reality on me. A cancer support group was God’s agent of new meaning and purpose in my life. I didn’t like his choice, but His goal was to refine me. He decided that this was the kind of reality that I needed to get clear on what was best for me.
Reality isn’t always fun or exciting. I would have preferred to have been home those nights rather than sitting in an oncology support group. But here’s the thing about asking God to direct your life: He will, and you won’t always like the way he does it. But his way is always, always better and best.
Lord Jesus, I want your dream for my life. Help me to realize that you’re God and I’m not. Father, place your glasses on me and make me the man you want me to be.