Tuesday, September 08, 2009

September 8, 2009 - Turned Toward Blessing

Today I come across a blog entry from last April by Dana Jennings, a New York Times reporter being treated for aggressive prostate cancer. Dana is Jewish, and writes eloquently on the intersection of faith and cancer. Here’s an excerpt:

“One of our cultural verities about serious illness is that it often challenges our faith. But for me, if anything, having cancer has only deepened it, heightened it.

I have spent the past year in the dark ark of cancer, and there is no question that I have become a new man. I’ve been granted a wisdom that only arrives at the rugged confluence of middle age and mortality. And I know, soul deep, that I have not been cut open, radiated, and tried physically and spiritually so that I can merely survive, become a cancer wraith. Since my diagnosis – after shaking off the initial shock – I have kept asking myself, in the context of my belief: What can this cancer teach me?

The most surprising thing I’ve learned is that cancer can be turned toward blessing. Through the simple fact of me telling my cancer stories on this blog, many of you readers, in turn, have told your own stories. And that mutual sharing of our tales has changed my life for the good. Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel said, 'Life is not meaningful, unless it is serving an end beyond itself, unless it is of value to someone else.'”

I like Dana's concept of cancer being “turned toward blessing.” I won’t ever be able to consider cancer a good thing, but our miraculous God can wring blessings out of even the darkest episodes of life.

In a remarkable way we, too, can be turned toward blessing. When we are able at last to make the move from cursing our fate to blessing others by our actions, we know the seeds of healing are taking root in our lives.

1 comment:

Bryan said...

It's true, instead of getting depressed and dwelling by the thought of having a cancer, make it profitable to others, take it as a blessing in disguise, be a blessing to others, I know it wont be easy, but give it a try.