I believe in living life in the shadow of the cross.
Let me explain. I am a ten-year breast cancer survivor and lead a breast cancer support group in my hometown. Several of us are long-term survivors, so we can be encouragers to others.
It’s always a sobering reality to hear the testimonies of a dozen women in various stages of treatment or recovery. One woman was attending her first meeting, newly diagnosed, frightened, and still struggling with the shock of the diagnosis. She starts chemo this week.
A 31-year-old mother of two (the youngest is a two-year-old) is halfway through her treatments. Her hair is just growing back as she finished chemo and prepares to start radiation.
Another woman is in the heat of the battle again, as the cancer has returned and has now spread to the bone.
Several people inquired about two absent members who are losing the battle. They were too sick to attend. Sobering, indeed.
The big topic of conversation as we gathered was an announcement in the newspaper about a breast cancer patient, first treated in 2007, whose breast cancer has returned. The news was grim. The cancer has spread to the bone, treatable for now, but ultimately incurable. This report was newsworthy because the woman’s husband is just beginning a grueling statewide political campaign. In spite of the news, the couple made the decision to continue in his bid for public office. She will join him on the campaign trail. Fund-raising and campaign appearances will continue uninterrupted.
The discussion leader for the meeting, a 20-year cancer survivor, asked: “What do you think of their decision to go full steam ahead with the campaign in spite of the diagnosis?”
I was amazed as every woman, even those in the throes of chemo or radiation, supported their decision to stay in the race. Again and again, the same ideas were expressed: Don’t step back from life. Embrace life. When you give in to cancer, then cancer is the winner.
I was so proud to be sitting among a group of women with that kind of spirit.
That’s why I was struck by the caption on a newspaper column the next day: “Living Life in the Shadow of Death.”
I wanted to shout, “No!” As Christians, we don’t live in the shadow of death! We live in the shadow of the cross, which is much different. The shadow of the cross is what we experience as we remember the sacrifice of Jesus on the cross. But we also celebrate in the promise of what comes after physical death: eternal life with our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.
Just like the cancer patients who face life head-on, God calls us to embrace life fully, in the good times and the bad times.
Don’t settle for living in the shadow of death. Live in the shadow of the cross.
Your cart is currently empty.