Hands on Prayer - Pappy’s Pen #02
*Note - This article was not written by New John Simmons, but by a contributing writer named Pappy. This post is part of a continuing series called Pappy’s Pen where he writes about his family, faith and recent cancer diagnosis.*
It’s been an interesting week. My wife and I have been meeting with close friends to fill them in on my situation. So far we have talked with additional family, a couple of close friends in the area, our church, and two different pastor families out of town. Everyone has been very encouraging, offering prayers not just for me but for our family also. Prayers are always appreciated. It is actually very humbling to sit with people laying hands on you and interceding. Nothing else truly lets you know you are not in control as well as submitting to be prayed for.
I was also struck by how many people in my small circle have gone thru the exact same thing. Three of the men we asked to pray with us have had a biopsy for prostate cancer, with one actually going thru and completing treatment. I never knew. One of these men are in our family and we had no clue. They were kind of joking that most men over 60 will at some time go thru this. Gives you something to look forward to. Catching it in time and going thru treatment results in a very high cure rate. So get tested guys. Being one of the older guys in my circle of friends makes me the guy who can hopefully comfort and counsel my friends when it happens to them. I said older, not more mature. I am still finding ways to make inappropriate jokes about this that drive my wife crazy. Special thanks to Rev. Ken Lee, who just completed treatment and was a big help and encourager.
One recurring theme in all these prayers and chats has been a reminder to stay positive and upbeat. Apparently some thought my previous note was a little dark at times. Just because I am looking forward to spending eternity in heaven doesn’t mean I have given up hope or am counting down my time here. I am not in a hurry to leave, I love being with friends and family, especially my grandkids. But I do have a Blessed Hope.
I grew up in a religious home, with that religion having many rules of do and don’t, mostly don’t. It was very guilt oriented, with trying to “do” things that will earn God’s favor. It was not a very hopeful religion. By the time I was in college I realized I could never follow all the rules, so I figured why even try. Thru circumstances I wound up playing intramural basketball with a group of Navigators. After one game they invited me to come hear a guy named Mark “tell his story”. Now Mark was someone I thought was cool. He drove an old VW Microbus, was good looking and always had good looking women hanging around him. If any of the other guys were “telling their story” I would have declined, but I did want to hear what Mark had to say.
He talked about a wedding banquet in heaven. I do love a good wedding reception. He talked about no pain, no crying, no guilt. He talked about spending the rest of eternity with friends. And he talked about Jesus being the key to getting there. He talked about Jesus going to prepare a place for us. I wanted in. That night I gave my life to Jesus and asked Him to be Lord of my life. If Mark had talked about me being a sinner and needing forgiveness, had talked about how unworthy I was, I would have agreed. But I would not have wanted in. I was captured by the Hope. I still am.
I guess that’s why I prayed that I would be in the Rapture. I wanted the express pass, to go to the front of the line. Thru His Word Jesus reminded me that everyone has to experience pain and suffering in this life. He had to. I have to. It’s a big way He helps us to grow closer to Him, more faithful, more like Him. Again, it’s also humbling. Apparently I need humbling. Getting a lot of that lately.
It’s still two weeks until my procedure, then another week or so until I get the results. Lots of time waiting, wishing I could do something but being unable to. Humbling, I’m not in control. Lots of time for my mind to take a lot of excursions. So bear with me please. If I’m a little grumpy forgive me. You usually do anyway. If I say something inappropriate, laugh, and then forgive me. Like usual. Rejoice with me when I rejoice. If I’m weeping then just leave me alone, that’s embarrassing. Actually, I probably won’t be weeping, I’m not much of a crier. Unless it’s a really good toothpaste commercial. But that’s another story for another time.