God, Cancer and Unanswered Questions

On Monday morning, a nurse approached me in the waiting room of the ambulatory surgery center. I knew why she was waking toward me, and I knew it wasn't good news. If it were good news, the surgeon would be coming out to deliver it. But he was still in the OR, operating on my wife.

We have to go in and take out the other side.

The deal was, no cancer - just take out one thyroid gland, cancer - take out both.

"The results came back from the lab?" I asked. I already knew the answer.

Yes, they came back, and we have to take out the other side.

She was doing everything she could to avoid the word. I wanted her to say it, to give it to me straight. But she wouldn't. Because she knew, cancer is a scary word, and I was scared.

It's interesting to be faced in a moment like that with the reality of destruction. Cancer is just that, a perversion of what was created as a building block of life. A destructive force.

So is the reality of our time on this side of eternity.

At the risk of writing an overly dramatic post, I'd like to say the surgeon was very pleased at how well my wife responded to surgery, and they are confident that after a treatment of radiation, this will all be behind us.

I will also say this: I believe in a mysteriously powerful Creator who is continually creating in our midst. He is creating something beautiful, transformative and redemptive out of this situation. It is our job to recognize that opportunity to join him in that space, not to ask why. Why is simply an unanswered question that keeps us off track. It's Resistance.

So now, in the face of destruction, we ask God what he is creating, and we join in. Unanswered questions and all.