My husband attends the University of Oklahoma. He is one of the few “mature” undergraduate students in his Engineering field. Fortunately, he has met and befriended one other “mature” student (translation: over 35). I know it has been nice for my husband to have someone to relate to and someone whose focus is not solely on weekend games and parties. This man is married, and extremely focused on succeeding and excelling in his field.
This friend recently experienced some dizziness and stroke-like symptoms. When he went to the doctor, after testing, he was immediately rushed to the medical center and they performed surgery on his brain to remove a brain tumor.
It turns out he has cancer of the brain; Glioblastoma. Not a very easy diagnosis to take. The online research I did quickly summed up the devastating reality; this man may have less than a year to live. We had gone to the hospital to visit him and his wife following the surgery. This was the first time I had met these people.
It may have been in efforts to be hospitable, but he was in such incredibly HIGH spirits. It was hard to even think about the meaning of his diagnosis. I’m not sure if it had sunk in, for him. I know it hadn’t sunk in for me. But lying before me, in a hospital bed, with his head half-shaven and a railroad of staples/stitches along the stubble of hair re-growth on his skull, is this man, this friend of my husbands. He is not old. He is not deserving of this diagnosis. He has a pre-teen son who needs a father. When I think that this son may not have a father through the most important transition of boy, to man…I cry.
I realize no one DESERVES this diagnosis. No one deserves a message of pending death, with little hope of long life in this physical world. I realize life is given and life is taken away and not on a whim, but with meaning and purpose. I try to remember, we really aren’t immortal in our flesh. I realized how meaningless the world must seem to someone who doesn’t have a hope for a future beyond this earth. I realized how empty and sad it could be to a person that honestly believes ‘this is it.” I realized how important our message of hope, as Christians, is to a lost and dying world.
We’re having dinner with this couple this weekend and while I’m looking forward to getting to know them on a deeper level, there is a part of me that has to leave that dinner with the certainty that these two people at least HEAR about the option of eternal life. If they have already heard, then maybe I can search for a peace about the possibility of losing this person from earth.
Sometimes Satan wins these little battles with me by trying to get me to focus on how 'goofy' and 'exclusive' some Christians appear via the media or unfortunately, sometimes, behind the pulpit. I am SO prayerful that this friend hasn't already formed a negative opinion about Christians in general. Somehow I doubt he has, because he is an intelligent person who is not easily swayed by mass opinion, rather by self-examination and scientific methodologies. He may in fact already have an assurance of a future hope through Christ, either way, it will be 'brought up' and discussed because my heart won't let me rest until I'm certain he has the option to choose his own destiny; life or death.