27 April 2005

God saved you through faith as an act of kindness.
You had nothing to do with it. Being saved is a gift from God.
It's not the result of anything you've done, so no one can brag about it.
(Ephesians 2:8-9, GW)

Dear ones,

I thought I'd begin this SteveUpdate with these verses, because these updates are now sent to more than 60 people who make up a very diverse group.

Some of us have long walked with Christ. Some of us are just getting started on that walk. And others of us are seekers, looking for answers to difficult life issues. But we all share a concern for Steve, as he courageously battles Stage IV colon cancer. And I share a concern for each of you, so that I earnestly and honestly convey to you both the reality of our “new normal” with its many ups and downs, and the eternal reality of God’s Word and work in our lives. From the very beginning of these updates I’ve wanted to give each of you something of value for your own lives, and not just a few self-centered, “it’s-all-about-us” paragraphs.

A remark that I’ve heard from time-to-time goes something like this: “You must be so very ______________(fill-in-the-blank: holy, special, full of faith, etc.) to bear this burden as you do.”

Nonsense! A well-meaning remark, yes, and definitely a caring remark, but nonsense all the same.

Just because we are on this cancer journey . . . we ourselves are not special. We ourselves are not more holy. And we are definitely not better than anyone else.

We – like all of us – are saved sinners. And we’ve been saved not by anything we’ve done, or by who we are, or by whom we are erroneously perceived to be, but purely, simply, we are saved by the grace of God through Jesus Christ. It is God’s unearned gift to Steve, to Karl, to me – and to each of you.

And that’s how Steve & I can face the many ups and downs, joys and sorrows, hopes and uncertainties of this cancer journey. Not always successfully, because we are still human. (And we thank each of you for your love and understanding about that.) But with the assurance that there’s a power greater than us who is keeping us going. And that power is God’s work in us through Jesus Christ.

We continue on the good-day/bad-day rollercoaster.

The good days mean: no bad reactions so far from this new third concoction of chemo; Steve’s love for his family compelling him to fight hard to beat the disease; having the energy to give a husbandly kiss and embrace; laughter with friends; feeling good enough—not too tired—to attend a fundraiser for a pastor’s widow; celebrating a friend’s son’s 16th birthday; helping Mom move into her new apartment; seeing our nephews; seeing our son; enjoying some coneys on a Friday night; becoming mallrats for a precious hour; hearing Steve preach; vacation anticipation.

The bad days mean: Steve confined to the couch with a 10+ fatigue level; sudden onset of pain & discomfort; more morphine; feeling generally blah that can only be attributed to “the disease”; cancelled and postponed meetings; a growing caretaker role; a sense of “trending downward.”

With love and prayers,


At 2:29 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I continue to pray for you, Sandie, and Karl-comfort, courage, strength and that the Lord will continue to hold all of you in His arms.


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