One of them — John — has been battling cancer for quite a while. It was interesting watching him throughout our dining experience.
More accurately — it was interesting to watch those who worked at the restaurant. He is a regular and they all know him. Almost every waitress hugged him. They all had a greeting for him. Throughout the meal they came over to talk for a moment — each conveying their joy that he was up and around. When we left he was once again surrounded by hugs and good wishes.
People in general are moved by those who are facing a life threatening condition. They are even more moved by the signs of winning the battle. They rejoice in the victory. They share in the hope that death can be beaten.
It occurs to me that those of us in the church should be filled with the same type of empathy and care. As we enter the church building any given day we are faced with those who are “cheating death” and “battling a cancer” — the cancer of sin and the death of the soul.
Those who have accepted Christ are promised that the soul no longer faces death.
The cancer of sin is being beaten back.
We still wear the scars — show the signs of the battle — live with the reality that it can rear its ugly head at any time. However, for now, it is in remission.
We gather at the Lord’s Table and once again have a chemo treatment. We take in the fellowship with Christ and His body (physical and spiritual). We join in the worship and it kills off the cancerous sin cells that invade our lives.
Those who know Connie greet her with a special joy these days. The cancer has been beaten for now. Her friends rejoice at the sight of her walking around with a new head of hair and smile on her face.
She symbolizes hope, joy, determination, courage.
Our gatherings of the church should be a hug festival.
We should see hope in all we meet. We should rejoice to see each other up and walking around.
After all — we have beaten the curse and have “a new and living hope”. Our sins forgiven we are deemed “cancer free”.
When you see your church family this week greet them as you would one who is beating cancer. After all — we are all fighting this battle together.