My precious 83 year old sister, Jo, has been diagnosed with terminal cancer. She rejected radical treatment, surgery, chemo and the accompanying predicable rough effects of recovery. She, being a practical person, opted out. It was a tough call for her, not because she knew the inevitable outcome of her decision but because it upset her children and grandchildren. They, of course, wanted her to seek to prolong her life, if even for just a few more years. She just wants to go home. I get it. This time, her decisions need to be about what she needs, no one else, and I support her in that.
Over the years we mostly lived in different states and until the invention of email had minimal contact with each other as we raised our families. But she has lived with us for the past six years now and it’s been an amazing blessing to have this incredible godly woman to talk to, to laugh with, to sit and do deep Bible study together.
Yesterday, we sat in her apartment and talked with despair over the way the world is now. We both agree that we feel as though we don’t belong here anymore. It’s like living in a nightmare we can’t wake up from. Given that we do study the Bible, it’s not as though we haven’t seen it coming. It’s all recorded there, what the end of time would look like. Admittedly, it’s easy to read about it than actually live it.
Because she refused treatment she is now in hospice care which has been a huge blessing too. She doesn’t have to go to doctor appointments to get her pain meds and the nurses, social workers and chaplains have been wonderful. They all love her because she is a breath of fresh air. She is a joy filled person and since she isn’t afraid to die, she is not like most people they take care of who are afraid to leave this life and are often bitter about it.
Yesterday her nurse came and she and Jo talked about how difficult it is nowadays just to say out loud that you are a Christian. The chaplain that comes once a month or so admitted he is not allowed to talk about Jesus. The social worker confided that she lives in an area that has a large population of East Indians who practice everything but Christianity and she has much less freedom than they do to openly live and profess her Christian faith.
I confessed to Jo that I’m running out of words, which is a tough admission for a lifelong writer. I admitted the frustration of speaking and not being heard, of putting down words that no one understands. I have to wonder if it’s time to stop because those who choose blindness, are now blinded lest they see. I don’t know what the point is anymore as the world grows darker and darker.
On the upside, I do know the war is won, it’s just these last battles that are exhausting. The opposition is coming from all directions now, not just the secular worldly segments but the worst of all are the wolves in the Body of Christ. The rising up of the god of self-righteousness is not limited to those who openly denounce Christ. It’s everywhere. In and out of church. For lack of a better way to describe it I refer to this as preferring good for goodness sake - the worship of the perception of good rather than the simple goodness of Christ.
Jo and I concluded that neither of us are skilled at shouting. But we also agreed that if we should be alive when Christians are lined up and told to disavow Jesus Christ or die, we would shout our faith loud and clear. That sort of put a punctuation point on our conversation.
As I stood up to leave Jo said, “You should not stop trying to say what should be said. Even if one person is awakened. Just write it and let God handle who should see it.”