Not long ago I visited the massive MD Anderson Hospital in Houston. My brother and close friend has been a regular there for over seven years as they have successfully treated him for a form of cancer. During the hour or so that he was with his primary doctor I went down to the cafeteria to wait for him to join me. As I sat and drank my coffee and watched the several hundred people of all ages who were there in wheelchairs, on crutches, some accompanied by nurses others by family, many attached to containers of medication with needles in their arms, I was struck by how much joy there was on nearly all the faces.
One group of men especially attracted my attention. There were seven of them gathered at a large round table quietly talking about life. I sat down near them to see if I could pick up on the conversation without being too obvious. These were working men who had taken time off from work to come for treatment. They seemed to all know each other so I assume they have been doing this for a long time, like my cousin Doug. All of them were dressed in jeans, boots and work shirts as though they worked in some type of construction or the oil industry. Just a group of everyday, lunch pail type guys doing what they had to do to survive. BUT, I heard no hint of self pity, anger, or even angst. They were sharing about their families and the great support they consistently received from the medical staff, their loved ones and even their employers. They were talking about regular "guy" stuff, sports, fishing, golf, and three of them shared about their men's Bible study group.
As I sat there spellbound by all I was seeing and hearing, I was reminded of one of David's songs, "To you O Lord I cry, and to the Lord I plead for mercy; What profit is there in my death, if I go down to the pit? Will the dust praise you? Will it tell of your faithfulness? Hear O, Lord, and be merciful to me! O Lord my helper! You have turned my mourning into dancing, you have loosed my sackcloth and clothed me with gladness, that my glory may sing your praise and not be silent. O Lord my God, I will give thanks to you forever." PSALM 30:8-12 HALLELUJAH!!!