A Christmas Anecdote

Joey, a man of strong faith, was hit by a lightning bolt when he discovered he suddenly had stage-4 cancer of the lungs, when he had no symptoms. The thought of death made him pray hard. He went to mass everyday. He never missed morning bible readings and evening meditation. He pleaded to the Lord to heal him.

Alas, his case deteriorated. The cancer spread to his spine and liver. He started getting depressions. He lost half of his weight in ten days. His family was running out of money. He started blaming the Lord for abandoning him. From his bed, he would stare at the ceiling, waiting to die, tears rolling down his cheeks.

Freddie, his best friend since they were kids, began to visit him everyday, trying to cheer him up, but in vain. He did not laugh at his jokes. No one could make him smile. Freddie left disappointed, but never gave up. He was there again the next day. One day, Freddie did not come. Joey found out that Freddie had died of stage-4 lung cancer. He was worse off than him, but Freddie never told him.

Joey was surprised how a friend about to die, was so cheerful and was more concerned about him than his own sickness. Then he realized Freddie’s secret to life was not in one’s self but in the other. Joey stopped wallowing in his grief, and sought other cancer patients when he went to his doctor. He made friends, and comforted those who were desperate in the cancer clinic. They liked his jokes. He never failed to make them smile, unlike Freddie who could not make him smile.

Joey began to notice a change in him. When he left the clinic, he felt stronger. He thought how amazing it was that the body and the soul were so intertwined as to heal each other. So he made a resolve to go to the cancer clinic everyday, not to see the doctor but to see the patients. The day before Christmas, there was pandemonium. The patients gathered around Joey to hear his jokes. And he gave away apples. He ignored the nurse who asked him to tone down the noise. That day, there was a rowdy Christmas party of cancer patients. The doctors joined it. For Joey, it was his therapy, better and cheaper than chemo, which he no longer underwent. He threw his sickness to the wind.

His cancer was still spreading, but he did not care. The doctor gave him three months, but it has been a year, and he was still alive and kicking. It dawned on Joey why the Lord made him sick. The Lord was teaching him that love can heal cancer. He realized he had a mission to fulfill to touch others, that was why the Lord made him sick. This terminal cancer patient found his heaven in a cancer clinic. He learned to surrender himself to Him by surrendering himself to others.

God’s ways are a mystery, but it always ends up a triumph of our spirit. In God’s love, there is no way we can get lost, because no matter where we go, all paths lead to Him.

– by Bernie V. Lopez, eastwindreplyctr@gmail.com

Updated: 2014-12-02 — 19:34:08