Cancer – the body

A number of weeks ago I wrote about being furious with God. Some have wondered how an ordained minister of the gospel can feel this way. They feel that being angry with God is wrong; that anger is a significant step towards turning my back on everything I believe.

This journey into cancer has not been easy. Watching someone I love face one surgery and now another tests everything I hold dear about my faith. This isn’t easy. My Christian faith and vocation has shaped our entire marriage. In 1986 Rita and I married after I finished my pastoral internship. On our second wedding anniversary we packed our truck and moved from Canada to Fresno, CA to go to seminary. While in seminary I interned in a United Methodist Church for three years. After seminary I was called to Denver to work as an associate pastor. After three years I moved on to DOOR, and for a number of years I pastored while running DOOR.

I do not think it is an understatement to say that my faith has shaped everything about the past 30 years. This has also been true for Rita.

To come to a point of anger and frustration with God was not part of my life plan.

God also has a way of showing up in the most unexpected ways. This week I have been reflecting on the Apostle Paul’s image of the body in 1 Corinthians 12:12-31.

For the past 10 weeks my faith in God has been shaken. But I am part of this living organism called the Body of Christ. Both of us our finding out that when our faith is shaken to the very core there are other parts of the body that pick up our unbelief and believe for us. We have given witness to this as friends have brought meals cooked with love. Others have given us a space to vent. Prayer warriors have prayed and others have sent emails reminding us that God is present. Those who have faced cancer have shared stories and gently reminded us that God will never leave us.

To all of you who have prayed, sent emails, brought meals, or just let us talk, know that you have been the hands, feet, and heart of God in my (our) valley of the shadow of death.

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3 Comments

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3 responses to “Cancer – the body

  1. Glenn, I have always loved your transparency! I don’t find anger unfitting a Christian at all. it’s understandable and human. I’m pretty sure God is big enough to take it. Cancer is ugly and unfair, and Rita is precious. Sometimes we don’t understand and feel helpless. Because we are angry at God doesn’t mean we’ve lost our faith…it’s just getting more real. It is true God loves you and Rita more than you can imagine and His ways are not always our ways…sometimes the path to surrender goes thru anger and that’s ok. Love you both snd are praying for peace.

  2. Sylvia Gibbs (Friesen)

    Hi Glenn
    It was so good to see you in W.L. for the reunion….even if it was just briefly. I have been praying for your wife, you and your kids. Reading what you recently posted about being angry with God brought back memories of past tragedies in my life…when I felt angry with God…and wasn’t sure that I could trust Him. I was facing my own health scare and dear friends were praying for me..and I had to confess that I was not sure that I could trust God to take care of me…and my family. It was okay. God was okay with my honesty..as were my friends. He gave me a beautiful picture of a loving Daddy who gathered me in His arms and rocked me as I fussed and squirmed to get away. He sang over me, rubbing my head and back gently until my tears subsided and I rested peacefully against Him.
    His shoulders are broad. His compassion and understanding are deep. He understands. He weeps with you. He sings over you. My prayer is that each one of you will feel His love and comfort in such a tangible way.
    I will keep your dear Rita in my prayers…and you.

  3. marie

    God respects your raw deep and personal intereactions with him. You most certainly have his undivided attention all the time.

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