Thursday, October 27, 2011

Our Journey In His Hands

It is time to move this blog from the Carepages site to a regular blog.  I don't want to continue to take up space on a site needed by those who are ill.  For those who are new to this blog, who would like information about our previous experience, you can find us on the site, under this same name.

Last night, we went to see the movie "Courageous."  What an amazing film.  In the opening scene, there is an incident that reminded me very much of Layne.  In this scene, a man takes an incredible, life threatening risk, laying down is life, in effect, for his son.  After the scene, two other characters are commenting, and one asks the other, "Would you have done that?"

The men never really answer the question, but I knew as I watched that Layne would certainly have done the same thing.  I know this because he DID do the same thing.

Cancer is very painful.  It is debilitating.  Layne could have stopped his treatment at any time.  I often told him that when he was done fighting, we would be ready to support that decision.  Yet he fought on.  As his body began to die, his kidneys shut down, his stomach closed off at the bottom, and limbs actually began to die.  Yet, he fought on.

Why did he fight?  It wasn't for himself.  I think that he probably knew when the nurse indicated he needed to be intubated that it might be his last effort.  But he had a living will.  In that living will, he insisted that as a family, we take all measures.  He did this because he believed in life.  He was fighting with his own body for his children and their children, so that they would not be deemed unnecessary, and allowed to die when treatments existed.  He lived as a pro-lifer, and he wanted to pass into his Savior's arms in the way he had lived.  He did these things to live and die courageously, for his family and his friends.

He and I often had conversations about Christian men, and how the church can impact men into taking their responsibilities seriously.  As we walked through cancer, it became evident that the things that most men base their value upon--their ability to provide financially, their ability to care for cars and homes, was actually the thing that was MOST replaceable.  Layne's value as a man was not in those things, it was in the spiritual guidance he provided and the expectations he set for his children.  He expected his sons to be men of God.  He expected his daughters to be women of faith.

The movie brings a great message about the type of courage that is required to adhere to the guidance for fathers that is found in the Bible.  What is wonderful about the movie is that it reflects two great scriptural truths:  First, God loves us and is ready to forgive--life decisions that we have made poorly can be changed.  God is always there to help us move forward from where he finds us.  There is always hope, even in the darkest of storms. Second, even if we don't have examples to follow on earth, the Bible is always our guide.  He has not left us without a path to follow.  If you search diligently, your role as a mom or dad are clearly defined in God's love letter to us.

What a great impact this movie can have.  Take your neighbor, take your brother, take your small group!


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