Great News and Responsibility


I’m a happy Dad right now. Life isn’t perfect but Narcie just called me with her doctor’s report from the latest MRI. Those of you in the loop know that on June 11 of this year she had to have brain surgery on an oligodendroglioma tumor. They didn’t get it all, and we have been waiting with hope for the 3 month check-up on its growth.

In case I don’t pass this on correctly, please check her blog. The tumor HAS NOT grown since the surgery. Something is still there, a fuzzy line, scar tissue, maybe swelling, too, but shout Hallelujah! Now, of course, the best news would be that it wasn’t there at all, but, hey, I’m more than okay with this news. I am next to ecstatic! She will have MRI’s every three months to check the status. The doctor says radiation and chemo are out because of the tumor’s location and type. Suits me, sometimes the treatment can be worse than the illness. She has no negative issues from the initial surgery. Praise the Lord! She will never have a normal brain scan, but I know folks that fit that description and they haven’t had brain surgery. Ha!

So I’m happy, relieved due to this bit of hope, and will keep praying and waiting faithfully until the next test. Please keep praying for her and her precious family, and if you have any nickels to spare: The air conditioning/heat pump went out at The Winthrop Wesley Foundation yesterday, and she doesn’t have $12,000 to get a new one. HELP! The address is Winthrop Wesley Foundation, PO Box 5009, Rock Hill, SC 29733. Look at my last blog for some more incentive if you need to.

I want you all to know how grateful I am for your prayers and encouragement. It’s been tough to juggle the mental and emotional pins of this summer’s saga with Narcie and my brother’s sudden death, but God is so wonderfully present with us. Our Connection has been alive for us more than ever. I am so glad to be a United Methodist! But then I know that there are people hurting all around and didn’t get good news today. I just got an email from a fellow DS who was in Africa for our Worldwide UMC trip a few weeks back. One of the speakers at her Listening Post was Dr. Mirielle, the Director of Nursing at the Lupandilo School of Nursing in Kamina, Congo. In the midst of a C-section for her second child she cried out as the baby was delivered and died. How awful.

How do we handle good news and bad and reconcile them with a God who loves us all? Deuteronomy 29:29 comes to mind: “The secret things belong to the Lord our God, but the things revealed belong to us and to our children forever.” So what to do? Give to God all that God we can’t handle or understand and do something about the things we can do something about.

I know this story will muck up the tenor of the mixture of gladness and sorrow that’s on my mind, but those who know me understand I’m a story-teller and especially like humor because it gets me through the tough times. So here goes: There was this golfer who had a miserable game one day. It was such a bad round that he skipped stopping at the clubhouse and went straight to his car. As he approached his car he noticed a police car with its lights flashing. An officer stepped out of the patrol car and hurried up to the melancholy golfer. “Excuse me,” the officer started, “but did you tee off from the 16th hole about 20 minutes ago?” “Why yes, I did,” the duffer replied. “Did you happen to hook your ball, so that it went over the trees and off the course?” the trooper asked. “Yes, it was a terrible shot, but how did you know?” the club member asked. “Well,” said the policeman very seriously, “your ball flew out onto the highway and crashed through a windshield. The car went out of control, running five other vehicles off the road and causing a fire truck to crash. That fire truck was on its way to a fire, and so that building is a complete and total loss. I want to know what you are going to do about this?” “Hmmm,” the golfer mused. “I think I need to close my stance, keep my head down and tighten my grip.”

What are we responsible for and what are we not, and what ties this to everything with Narcie and Wesley? Narcie’s brain tumor is something that I can’t handle, but God and good doctors can. The Wesley Foundation air conditioning is something I can do something about. I can also do something for motherless children, too. Hey, maybe this is a thought for tonight’s Charge Conference where I’ll probably hear several reasons why they can’t pay their apportionments that fund Wesley and help children all over the world.

Taking responsibility for that which is legitimately mine is one thing, and giving the rest to God makes for a centered life that is free from worry and filled with appropriate responses to crises. It moves me from turning my worries into prayers in some instances (Like Narcie), and turning them into action in others (Winthrop and Connectional Giving).

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