In the midst of life we are in death
The weather has been unpleasantly hot for the last few days, in the high 30s, lots of thunderstorms around, and little rain. A warning in the newspaper that the heatwave is likely to continue, and you should try to stay indoors, otherwise you'll fry your brain.
Got a letter from a retired Anglican bishop friend, now living in an old age home. He was recently disgnosed as having lymph-node cancer, and has been having chemotherapy. What struck me as sad was that all he talked about in his letter was his health. Suddenly finding himself ill after a lifetime of good health reduced him to being concerned about only one thing.
It prompted two thoughts -- one that good health, which we so often take for granted, is the prerequisite for being able to do so much else. If health breaks down, then there is the danger that we stop functioning in so many different ways. In many ways, health is foundational.
The second thought was the hope that if I ever get ill -- seriously ill -- I won't be like that. I'm writing this partly as a kind of reminder to myself. If that should hasppen, I hope that I will be able to talk to other people about other things. It strikes me too, however, that many of the saints suffered from ill-health, and yet others were healed through them. Perhaps they had reached such a stage of holiness that they were able to imitate Christ in taking the diseases of others upon themselves. And pehaps God gives good health because he knows we are not strong enough to bear illness.