The question is not how to get cured, but how to live.”
― Joseph Conrad
When friends are suffering a chronic illness, there’s little I can do to “fix” it. I can only empathize and try to help as I can. One of my friends, an older man whose health is a fragile thing, chooses to spend time among our small church group we call the Empty Nesters; tonight he had another episode where he was gasping to breathe. It required paramedics to take him to the hospital. I made a call to 911, and stethoscope-bearing Empty Nester angels helped him. Others offered to direct the paramedics into the building. That we had three nurses, R.N.s, in our group tonight, was amazing. They providing vitals that I relayed to the 911 paramedic dispatcher.
Advancing years and infirmity. Many times the indiscretions of youth, or even our health-conscious fitness passions become medical issues that bear down on us in our Fifties and beyond. While the body is temple of the Spirit, I should prefer to be in peak condition until my last heartbeat. The truth is that my body begins to resemble a Public Works project. Road Closed. Uneven Pavement. Caution: Trucks entering and leaving the highway. Hard Hats Required past this point.
But that is exactly why my friends with chronic illness are an inspiration. I’ve known men with terminal cancer, others with debilitating emotional issues, and still others with mind fogging over with age who have shown selflessness, courage, inner peace and strength in their godly convictions. The question that Joseph Conrad asked, is answered by a life well lived. And I see that in the example of Jesus lived out in my friends, their families and lives they have impacted.
My comfort in my suffering is this: Your promise preserves my life. – Psalm 119:50 (NIV)