Wednesday, February 24, 2010

Thoughts as my Dad starts Chemo...

If I inherited anything from my father, it is the great love of books. Shortly after my brother, Adam, left for college; mom turned his old bedroom into a home office for dad. A true library. I always loved coming home for trips and just staring at the bookshelves. What should I read this trip? I would wonder as I stood in front of the huge bookshelves covering every wall. Now that I am living at home, I have the advantage of Dad's library close at hand at all times.

My favorite part of Dad's library, however, is the personal touches added to each and every book. As I child, I remember dad always "turning in early" to go to his room and read. As I grew, I would continue to find him in bed with a book, ruler, and pen on his lap. As dad finds passages in books that are memorable, he uses a ruler to very carefully and perfectly underline the page. Now as an adult, I find these markings precious insights into my dad's heart. As I read an underlined passage, I wonder why it stood out to my father - and I find myself drawn to read all the underlined passages first.

This morning, I picked up dad's copy of "The Holiness of God" by R.C. Sproul. I am savoring both Sproul's insights and my dad's underlining. The book is adding so much to my current study of Isaiah.

"What set a prophet of Israel apart from all other men was the sacred auspices of his call. His call was not from men. He could not apply for the job. He had to be selected - chosen directly and immediately by God. And the call was sovereign; it could not be refused." - Sproul

I feel like much of my life has been "chosen by God" as of late - definitely not chosen by me! In my own life, I am struggling with the call of holiness even in the midst of personal pain.

My dad entered the hospital yesterday for chemotherapy. Over the next three days, he will receive six months worth of chemo to take his body to nothing. He will have the bone marrow transplant on Friday. Did he sign up for cancer? Absolutely not. Yet again, God in His sovereignty allowed this to happen to dad at this time. John Piper wrote an article (shortly after his own cancer diagnosis) called "Don't waste your cancer." I have heard Dad repeatedly mention this phrase to his friends during long phone calls. "I believe that God has lessons for me to learn only through cancer." I will hear Dad say. "I don't want to waste my cancer. There are lessons I will learn only through this process."

What sets us apart from all other men (and women) is our call. Our specific life circumstances that cannot be changed - or chosen - or refused. The only thing that we control is our response - will we allow our calling to change us - to become more holy?

We join you, God, in our desire to become like you... Holy... but we would also love for this process to be as pain-free and quick as possible! (Can you tell that I am still completely human while striving to be Christ-like?)


3 chicks and a dude said...

Praying for you in this painful time!

Anonymous said...

Thinking of you dear Emily and praying for you as your dad goes through this journey. He is so right about not wasting this cancer- God taught me things during my cancer experience that I might never have learned.
Carol Mathews