[asa] In memory

From: Randy Isaac <randyisaac@comcast.net>
Date: Sun Nov 22 2009 - 21:34:31 EST

May I deviate somewhat for one post from the main focus of our list on science and faith to share my experience today?
This morning our service in church was an emotional deviation from the usual service. Our pastor died on Friday night after a 19 month ordeal with glioblastoma. Though his experimental treatment helped him extend his life longer than expected, the end came very suddenly and unexpected. That was in many ways a humane thing to happen.
I'd like to share two quotes from the service. First, one of his favorite Scripture passages and, secondly, from a favorite book of his.

Lamentations 3:21-26 (New International Version)

 21 Yet this I call to mind
       and therefore I have hope:

 22 Because of the LORD's great love we are not consumed,
       for his compassions never fail.

 23 They are new every morning;
       great is your faithfulness.

 24 I say to myself, "The LORD is my portion;
       therefore I will wait for him."

 25 The LORD is good to those whose hope is in him,
       to the one who seeks him;

 26 it is good to wait quietly
       for the salvation of the LORD.

The book he enjoyed was by Joan Chittister. I don't have the title with me right now. But here is the quote that encouraged him so much during his struggle with the brain cancer:

"Hope and despair are not opposites. They are cut from the very same cloth, made from the very same material, shaped from the very same circumstances. Most of all, every life finds itself forced to choose one from the other, one day at a time, one circumstance after another. The only difference between the two is that despair shapes an attitude of mind; hope creates a quality of soul. Despair colors the way we look at things, makes us suspicious of the future, makes us negative about the present. Hope, on the other hand, takes life on its own terms, knows that whatever happens God lives in it, and expects that, whatever its twists and turns, it will ultimately yield its good to those who live it well. When tragedy strikes, when trouble comes, when life disappoints us, we stand at the crossroads between hope and despair, torn and hurting. Despair cements us in the present; hope sends us dancing around dark corners trusting in a tomorrow we cannot see. Despair says that there is no place to go but here. Hope says that God is waiting for us someplace else. Begin again."

I have a lost a good pastor who had become a dear friend. His choice of hope over despair is a continuing inspiration to us. We pray that the results of the experimental regimen with which he was treated will help many others in the future.

Thanks for letting me share.


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Received on Sun Nov 22 21:34:59 2009

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