Friday, August 15, 2008

Mike Hamel

My friend Mike Hamel was diagnosed with cancer this summer. He gave me permission to share with you one of his blog posts from the week after the diagnosis:
I believe in God and the after life, even though I have more questions about both. I’ve rejected a lot of the metaphors used to describe Christianity as self contradictory but I still believe in the reality they inadequately try to portray.

A cancer diagnosis is like being told there’s a cliff paralleling the path you’re on. At some points they are very close together. You could fall off or you could travel for miles. When I look toward the cliff—in the far distance of my current perspective—I don’t expect it to drop off into oblivion or perdition. I think there’s another realm of existence beyond the edge.

I’m not ready to fall off the cliff—not today—but I’m not afraid of it.

I still have no sense of the nearness of God in all this. He has been silent for a long time, or speaking a language I don’t understand. He could talk to my soul or my mind or my emotions, or all three. I think I’m open but that doesn’t mean I am. Self deception is part of the human condition. I do expect some spiritual insight to come from this physical ailment. That’s where I’ve set my gaze for now, the spiritual
horizon.

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“Narrow are the powers that are spread through the body, and many are the miseries that burst in, blunting thought. Men behold in their span but a little part of life—then, swift to die, are carried off and fly away like smoke, persuaded of one thing only: that which each has chanced on as they are driven every way. Who, then, boasts that he has found the whole?” -Empedocles
You can read more about Mike's journey through cancer treatment--as well as his thoughts on life, religion, and more--on Mike's blog.
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What's your story? You can post a comment or write to me anytime at ifgoddisappears[at]gmail[dot]com.

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