(The following quotations are from an article titled “We’re not whiners; we’re prayer warriors,” by Joshund Sanders, which ran in the Thursday, October 28, 2010, 24-page special breast cancer section of the “Austin American-Statesman.”
My mother co-founded the Christ-centered breast cancer support group called Bosom Buddies which is the focus on the article. The story quotes Dr. Lisa Day Jones, 55, who has late-stage breast cancer. I know her. She spoke at my mom’s funeral.
I’m going to begin with her final quote, the one that closes the article.
“I believe God is a very scary, very specific person,” she said. “And very, very cool.”
Scary, specific, and cool. Perhaps those aren’t the words you would choose to describe God. Perhaps you are not facing late-stage cancer.
In this piece, Jones describes why church hasn’t been enough.
“When my hair began to grow in, and I began to look ‘normal’ again and go back to most of my previous activities, people were not as comfortable with me talking about the chronic state of my disease, that I was stage 4 and the cancer would likely return,” she said. “It was more comfortable to think about my being cured miraculously and no disease being present.”
Yes, that’s what we all would like to hear. I certainly believe God can heal. But it ain’t necessarily so.
“Christianity is very positive,” Jones said. “People want to talk about life and that’s great. But when you live with cancer, that [positivity] is not grounded in reality.”
Living with cancer, or living with someone who lives with cancer, changes your faith. It’s not a matter of simply strengthening or weakening your beliefs. It permanently alters your vision.
I don’t remember anything Jones said at my mother’s funeral. But her faith was evident for all to see.
The last/only text message my mom ever sent me, one month before she died, said, “God will carry us through.” God will carry Dr. Lisa Jones through as well, because He is very scary, very specific, and very, very cool.