Friday, July 18, 2008

Other Presbytbloggers: Carl & His Cancer

Carl Wilton is a pastor in New Jersey. He has cancer and has been blogging his experiences with it for a number of years. Carl’s insight into dealing with cancer gives all of us specialized information that can personally and pastorally help us. If you truly want to know what goes on in the heart, mind, body, and soul of a person with cancer, take time to read Carl’s postings.

Carl’s blog is called A Pastor’s Cancer Diary and can be found at

Certainty Lost, Wisdom Gained?

There are many losses associated with cancer, but among the most slippery to deal with is the loss of certainty. Such is the observation of Glenna Halvorson-Boyd and Lisa K. Hunter in Dancing in Limbo: Making Sense of Life After Cancer (Jossey-Bass, 1995). It’s a book I half-finished reading some months ago (see my April 18 blog entry), and have only recently picked up again. Here’s what these two cancer survivors say:

“We assumed that we had a future; now we don’t know. We assumed that we were safe in our own bodies; now we can’t be sure. We assumed that we had more control over our own lives. If we did the right things, we would be all right. In general, we believed in a more certain world.” (p. 88).

Most of us, in our younger years and well into middle age, live our lives based on certain assumptions. They’re irrational assumptions, but still we hold them dear. We know, intellectually, we’re going to die one day, but we really don’t believe it in our heart of hearts. By the same token, we may know that a certain percentage of the population will fall ill with life-threatening diseases, but we really don’t believe we’ll be numbered among them. We believe that if we do the right thing – or try to do the right thing – a beneficent Providence will reward us with life, liberty and a happiness we scarcely have to pursue.

Read the rest of this article here…

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