God bless you.
Pain and I have never gotten alone.
I hate pain in itself, because it hurts. Anybody who loves feeling pain simply for the
sake of pain or loves inflicting pain on others is a sick masochist and sadist
But I love pain as a teacher and thank God for it accordingly because if I never
suffered pain, I could never fully appreciate pleasure. I enjoy eating t-bone steaks today
because I had to make do with eating neckbones in my impoverished childhood. If we
never were hungry, how could we appreciate food? Yes, opposites have a tendency
to complement and even help define each other. It's the pain of winter's cold that best
defines of the comfort of a warm home. Pain teaches us, among other things, to be
grateful, tough, smart and determined.
So, I thank God for my pain.
And as God takes me through a healing process from prostate cancer, end-stage
congestive heart failure and brain cancer, pains have been frequent companions of mine
for the last three weeks.
Thus, this week, when I have my required three-month follow-up checkup with my
urologist, Dr. Glenn Gerber of the University of Chicago Medical Center, I'll have more
than incontinence and painful urination to complain about. Pains in my lower back, my
left groin, my thighs and legs will be added to the list.
When I first prayed, and continue to pray, to God to heal me from my cancers
and bad heart, I did not ask for a Gucci or a designer, pain-free healing. That sure
would have been sweet indeed. But I simply asked God to heal me and left it up to
Him to decide how He would do it and how long it would take Him to do it.
I prayed for a healing in a surrendered spirit articulated in the lyrics of an old
familiar hymn in my black Baptist heritage:
"Have thine own way, Lord
Have thine own way
Thou art the potter
I am the clay
Make me and mold me
After Thy will.
While I am waiting
Yielded and still."
I already understand the reasons for my incontinence and my painful urination.
They are side effects of the brachytherapy (implantation of radioactive seeds into my
prostate) that I underwent May 21 at the Chicago Prostate Cancer Cancer. I was
informed beforehand by Dr. Brian Moran, my radiations oncologist, that the 89
radioactive seeds he implanted would cause these discomforts while they attack
and destroy the cancerous tumors in my prostate. This discomfort normally lasts
for several months before eventually dissipating.
But to get a fix on the pains in my back, groin, thighs and legs, I will undergo an
MRI and possibly a neurological scan.
In the biblical accounts of the healings performed by our lord and savior, Jesus
Christ, these miracles were described as instantaneous, except for rare exceptions
such as the man born blind in the ninth chapter of the gospel of St. John. In that
event, Jesus spat on the ground, made metaphysical mudcakes and smeared them
onto His patient's eyes. But it wasn't until the patient obeyed Jesus' providential
prescription to go wash in the pool of Siloam that the man received his sight.
It is not clear whether I, in accordance with that miracle, am in the mudcake
stage or am headed toward a rinse in my relative pool of Siloam. I also don't know
how much pain and patience God is going to charge me for my healing. No matter. It's
still a to pay for the healings I seek. I already have enough for my healing. If you have
the faith, God's got the grace for your healing. And all any of us needs is a
mustard-seed-sized portion of faith to generate the power to move mountains and
to uproot sycamore trees. So I have enough the faith. What I need to do now is to be
ready to wait on the Lord and to suffer as much as necesarry before I get my complete
But in the interim, I want God to get glory our of my every "ouch", grunt and
groan, my every sleepless night, my every duel with doubt and my every fight with fear.
And I also want to thank all of you prayer partners who continue to hold me up in
prayer before the Lord.
God bless you.