Saturday, May 10, 2008

Life In the Cancer Ward - Pastor Dan Cummings

Pastor Dan Cummings of 5 Points Community Church in Auburn Hills is chronicling his cancer treatments on his blog, The Shadowlands. I'm not sure how I would be doing if I were in his shoes. Here is an excerpt from his latest post...

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.

11 comments:

Dave Shoop said...

Thanks, Dave, for posting about Dan. The Body at Five Points Community appreciates any and all prayers.

Grace --

Dave Shoop, Assoc. Pastor of Covenant Community
Five Points Community Church
Auburn Hills, MI

Dave Sarafolean said...

Dave,

Thanks for visiting. Some of our members have been at Camp Barakel and know of your church and Pastor Dan's ministry. We are honored to lift him, his family, and the church up in our prayers.

I can recall what someone said after James Montgomery Boice died: "Lord, why did you take a 5 star general? Why not take a lieutenant like me?" God's ways are mysterious and beyond searching out. Yet we can take comfort in His goodness, love and benevolence.

We will continue to pray.

Dave Sarafolean, Pastor
Christ Covenant Church PCA
Midland, Michigan

Nathan said...

Pray for Dan's repentance, and the rest of Five Points leadership for covering his sin. God is dealing with this church. Pray that they listen before He starts dealing with the rest of the elders.

Dave Sarafolean said...

Nathan,

Thanks for visiting. I haven't the foggiest notion about that which you speak.

Dave Sarafolean, Pastor
Christ Covenant Church (PCA)
Midland, Michigan

Anonymous said...

Dave

I know you do not know anything about that which I speak. And, I am glad you do not. It is very painful to witness deception by leadership, especially those who claim Christ. Realize from your blog that you have dealt with some of that yourself. No need to learn of more....

Nathan

Dave Sarafolean said...

Nathan,

I wasn't fishing for any additional information and I'm glad that you don't want to start posting things here. I will continue to pray for Pastor Dan Cummings, his family and the 5 Points Church family.

Dave Sarafolean

Matthew David Siel said...

Dear Pastor Cummings,

You may, or may not remember us. It is Matt Siel from your old church, Grace Community Church in Hudsonville. We we heart-stricken to hear of your physical ailments and I am listeing to your 4/27/08 audio clip claiming that you are at Stage IV. Your message displayed courage, strength and above all great faith. Not a time in a one's life can that faith be more challenged when faced with a challenging physical condition. It is easy for me to say we will pray for you, which you have been lifted up in prayer in today's very church bulletin! No, I ask you in addition to that, what can I do by action to help you? May God be with you Pastor.

In Christ,

Matt Siel

Matthew said...

You may, or may not remember us. It is Matt Siel from your old church, Grace Community Church in Hudsonville. We we heart-stricken to hear of your physical ailments and I am listeing to your 4/27/08 audio clip claiming that you are at Stage IV. Your message displayed courage, strength and above all great faith. Not a time in a one's life can that faith be more challenged when faced with a challenging physical condition. It is easy for me to say we will pray for you, which you have been lifted up in prayer in today's very church bulletin! No, I ask you in addition to that, what can I do by action to help you? May God be with you Pastor.

In Christ,

Matt Siel

Anonymous said...

Dan,

You were great, full of wisdom and insight. I appreciated all you did.

Nathan - show a little respect, look in mirror.

ezielz said...

I learned about Pastor Dan while reading the Our Daily Bread just now..

Clara said...

What a coincidence, I also just learned about Pastor Dan today in Our Daily Bread.