Finding a cancer group at Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa, George and I visited it recently. There were not only cancer patients but also caregivers, survivors, and family members, who lost their loved ones. I was surprised that some people have been fighting with cancers over and over for years. Tom, who lost his first child, Amanda, at age 23 five years ago, has been there to pray together with others, who are suffering like his daughter. At the end of the meeting he gave us a booklet of Amanda’s poems, in which we found that she kept holding her faith in Christ though she was crying out to God about how painful and frightening it was to face reality. For her, the Christian faith was the weapon to fight against cancer.
When we are in a situation that is beyond our control, we cannot help seeking for some supernatural power. When doctors and medicines are not enough to trust, we pray to gods or ancestors, make a wish to great nature or at shrines and temples, or hold charms, which give us hope to survive. Yet, what would happen if the hope to survive were lost? Amanda didn’t lose love,hope and faith in Christ, even at her deathbed. Because Jesus broke the power of death, he promised our eternal lives after death, there is hope beyond death. Amanda kept believing this hope and praising God until the very end.
Tom shared the story about Amanda with tears on the day of her fifth anniversary of her death. The sorrow is still there, yet instead of cursing God, Tom is also grateful for the time of 23 years with Amanda, and hoping that from a grain that fell into the ground and died, lots of new fruit will be produced; he is making his hope and faith stronger. I am so thankful that I got to know Jesus.