A Shadowlands Dispatch
Everyone on 5 North is very sick…over every room is a shadow of death…some longer, some shorter, some hardly a shadow at all. There’s a lot of pain and every imaginable adaptation to the plague of cancer. N. is out in the hall doing laps…I think it’s a 20 minute pace with complaints of a boring course. E. is having surgery to buy a few more weeks of “quality” life. B. doesn’t move. Everyone’s case is complicated by the reality of unknowns. There’s a kind of seriousness on 5 North that everyone knows but no one talks about.
5 North is unusually quiet for a hospital floor…carpeted hallways, large & accommodating rooms, quiet & calm efficiency. The nurses are ladies of grace, sometimes hovering like that favorite grandma who keeps asking you if you want anything…just hoping you’ll say yes so they can make your day. None of them have come up with double fudge brownies with melted marshmallows and frosting, though.
5 North will be “home” when the unknown surfaces and causes trouble. And the unpredictable is normal. There’s nothing predictable about cancer. Statitistics and all information and doctor’s answers be damned! No one knows! That’s why doctors have become masters of “non-answers” and vaguery. For all of their priestly position in our culture, their art is one of educated guessing and hoping and experimenting based on the best wisdom of almost blind men. Don’t misunderstand. Modern medicine is a great evidence of common grace. If nothing else, I have imagined the hard and horrible, Brainerd-esque death I would be dying if some relief was not available. So, I bless our heavenly Father for such gifts and love these men who care for me with such passion and compassion that shames most parish priests. Yet, they have no idea how utterly dependent they are on a sovereign God…everything they do with such hope and confidence for their patients is subject to the ordaining council of our all-wise and all-good and all-glorifying God. So, it is strangely easy to take all the twists and turns if you immediately trace them back to God and the joyful trust that He is in control of the unknown and unpredictable and sometimes scary. It’s surreal getting used to this new “home.”
Read the rest by clicking here http://5pointscc.org/dan/?p=27
Also note that his blog has a couple of audio links for announcements he made to his congregation about his illness. Please keep him, his family and his church in your prayers.