It’s the Patient’s Fault

It’s been three years since cancer took my mother’s life. She battled with cancer for ten years. She went in and out of remission. She sought God. She prayed for healing. She prayed for wisdom. She prayed for guidance. She got treatment. It worked. But cancer is a bitch. It’s pretty good at finding its way back, even when a person is so good fighting it.

Right when I graduated with college my mom was re-diagnosed. I remember sitting in our living room and she asked me what I believed about what God and healing and doctors. Should someone skip treatment and just believe that God will heal them? People in her church were telling her to just believe. They were telling her not to seek treatment. Now, don’t get me wrong, I full believe in healing. I’ve seen people healed. I watched a blind woman get her sight back. God can heal. On his own. But you know what else God can do? He can use people. He created all of these people with all of these abilities and all this knowledge. He uses doctors to heal people all the time. It’s not one or the other. It’s both and. My mother did believe for healing. But she also got treatment. She believed God wanted her to get treatment. I believe God wanted her to get treatment. And she did go into remission again, for a little bit.

So it really hurts when I hear that people who knew my mother, people who studied the Bible with my mother, people who prayed with my mother, people who got words from my mother, are saying that cancer patients don’t stay in remission because they got treatment rather than believing for healing. It hurts that they’re spouting their conspiracy theories to people that I know and love, saying that cancer patients deserve to die, because they didn’t believe enough. That’s along the lines of the Old Testament, saying that people were blinded or developed leprosy because of their sins or the sins of their parents. It’s small minded and stupid.

I’m still hurt. I’m still angry. God is good. His people are not.


It comes rushing in
Like a rushing wind
Like a deep inhale
Filling these lungs
That once gasped for breath

It’s a joy that overtakes
A love that overcomes
A grace that breaks free
A faith holding steadfastly
A mercy that bends rules without breaking them

This freedom rings
A sound resounding
Heard miles off
It cannot be hidden
But why would we want to hide it in the first place?

Hearts are healed
Sickness is destroyed
Promises fulfilled
Forgiveness freely given
The price has already been paid

A life laid down
So simply put
Perfection lived out
Stains removed
Poured into wounds unimaginable

We can focus on the pain
Or we can focus on the gift
Neither is more real
Neither can be returned
But we can be clothed in acceptance

So why not be thankful?
Why not find joy?
What have we got to lose?
It is finished
It has already been done

In the end, nothing else matters
But you never ceased to matter
Every step
Every breath
They’re all worth taking

Arms are open wide
Pulling you in
You can resist
Or let go
Because he’s not letting go of you

He breathes life
Into you
Patiently he’s waited
And patiently he’ll wait
For you to inhale

He’ll come rushing in
Like a rushing wind
With a deep inhale
Filling your lungs
That once gasped for breath

Blogging Everyday in July|Last Day

It’s the last day of the month.  I made it.  This is it.

Today, I wrote a poem for someone wonderful that I haven’t known that long.  Marsha asked me to write a poem for her when I said I was gonna write one for her husband.  I’ve been wanting to write it for a while, but I’ve been so drained.  But today, it finally happened.

Mama Duck
Mama duck
With all her ducks in a row
Always having someone to care for
Because she was made to care

She knows her quiet place
She knows that there, she can find rest
Her empty nest is never an empty nest
Her heart is always full

As someone who brings healing
As someone who carries freedom

Mother, daughter, sister, friend
Both known and unknown
Safe in the mystery
Comfort in the open places

She reflects the Father
As she dwells in his gaze

No need to search for something more
More is already given
Find peace beneath her wings

Costa Rica. Pura Vida.

It’s been a few weeks since I’ve posted anything, which is rare for me.  But I actually have a good reason this time.  I’ve been in costa Rica doing some encouraging mission work with my school.  And let me just tell you some of the things that happened on this trip.

First off, before I even left the country, $125 appeared in my passport.  So that was cool.  That was the beginning of the unexpected.

I hear from God a lot, although I’m not always aware of his prophetic voice.  My school has a pretty big focus on the prophetic, so we give and get encouraging words a lot.  But never in the capacity that we did in Costa Rica.  The thing is, I have a hard time fully trusting that it really is God’s voice I hear in the random thoughts that enter my mind.
The first church, the one that we spent the most time with, the pastor just let us do what we were going to do.  My whole team went up and were expected to have a word for someone in the church.  There was a woman that God had been speaking to me about, but I thought that I was hearing him too clearly, that it was too easy, so I assumed it was me and not God.  But there was no one else that God was speaking to me about, there was no one else that I had a word for.  So I just told her what I heard, how proud God was of her, and how much he loves her, amongst other things.  I didn’t even know that she had told her brother that morning that she was feeling like giving up her position in the church.  God used me to tell her exactly what she needed to hear in that moment.
The next church we went to was a “jungle” church.  It was outside on Tuesday nights in a open space of dirt.  When we were greeting different members of the church, God told me he was going to heal a specific elderly woman.  I didn’t know what was wrong with her, but I knew she was going to get healed.  My roommate and I were praying for this woman’s back, because that is what was bothering her.  We didn’t have a translator and I only speak a little bit of spanish, but when we asked if there was anything different, if she felt any change, she started weeping and looking at the light and wiping her eye and thanking God.  Anu and I didn’t know she was blind, but God opened her eyes, and now she can see!  Her back got healed to.  In fact, I think that almost everyone we prayed for that night got healed in some way.  It was mind blowing!

We went to a church in San Vito, which is up this steep, windy road on the top of a mountain.  I ended up being one of the team that preached there.  I talked about how no one needs to be a pastor in order to be a minister or to be used by God.  Jesus was a carpenter, I’m a writer, and lots of other people are used by God everyday who are not pastors.  There was a group of missionaries who are in Costa Rica to help with drug rehab, but are right now just starting up a youth group.  A few of them added my team and I on facebook.  One of them sent me a message a couple days ago to tell me that he was really encouraged by what I said.  That he had never felt called to be a pastor, but was doing full time ministry in another country.  This in turn was really encouraging to me.

Costa Rica.  Pura Vida.  Rich Coast.  Pure Life.  God is doing things there.  He opened eyes and ears, and made the lame walk.  People are learning to hear and trust his voice.  And I will never be the same.

He’s Waiting

He waited
Like he knew you were coming back
He watched the road in anticipation
Until he saw your outline on the horizon

He picked up his feet and ran
Full speed to embrace in his arms
His strong arms, his loving arms
They hold you

As you left him behind
All focus followed you
And he was forgotten while he waited
But he never failed to remember you

You went off to live a wild life
With no knowledge of what happened while you were gone
But he went to work determinedly
Preparing for your return

So what is he to you?
What are you to him?
How can you feel like you matter
When everything you have is his?

You matter because you matter to him
He would give you everything
He’s already given you everything
Yet you always ask for more

He is extravagant
And he’s extravagantly in love with you
Every time you turn your back
He waits patiently for you

See, he knows you’ll always come home
Because you know he’s the best thing for you
Yet you take him for granted

You were outside
But you put yourself out there
He’s invited you inside so many times
He even leaves the door unlocked

He never broke you
Yet you fully believe you are broken
His arms are healing
Yet you pull away from his embrace

When you packed up everything
When you went out the door
You had every intention to leave forever
But he waited anyway

How could you believe you deserve this?
Are you even worth this?
You are because he says so
So go home, he’s waiting

About Choice

The thing about utopia is how imperfect and broken it is.  With ridding life of pain, of conflict, of disagreement, we take away so much.  We take away joy, and love, and color.  We take away choice.

Some believe that with choice, we always choose wrong.  Look at Adam and Eve.  They had the choice to live forever, and instead chose knowledge and death.  Is it because they didn’t have all the facts?  We may not ever know.  But maybe that’s okay.  So many of us say that if it were us, knowing what we know now, we would have chosen differently.  I’m not so sure that this is true.

I would love to rid the world of its corruptness.  I would love to end all wars and hunger and racism and all of that.  However, this may never be possible.  Not because people always choose wrong, but because the wrong choices sound the loudest.

If someone never knew pain, lived in a world without pain, and was surrounded by people who only knew the same, then once pain arrived it would scream in their face.  Everyone would feel it.  And to stop it, more pain would arise.  Or maybe it wouldn’t.

All I know is that the world is fallen, that I am fallen.  All I know is that I am redeemed.  All I know is that this all can be washed clean.  If only we would make the choice.