When Dad was diagnosed with Merkel Cell Carcinoma (MCC) two-and-a-half years ago, we experienced a non-Christmas. Dad had had surgery that week to remove nineteen lymph nodes, and I’d had to leave him after six weeks, returning to the mid-west and my family. For my extended family in Florida and my nuclear family at home, Christmas came and went without much fanfare.
This year, it’s Easter that is almost lost in the wake of cancer. I’m halfway across the country from Hubby, Teen, and Tot. This morning there weren’t any baskets or elaborate church services. Mom and I didn’t have time to go out shopping, and Dad simply couldn’t endure a long program with his congregation. But thanks to modern technology, we did have church.
We all woke up this morning wanting to mark this sacred day in some fashion. I read Matthew 28 from my Bible Gateway app. Then we found a televised service from a local church. It wasn’t an Easter program, but we were blessed by the music and the sermon about faith from Nehemiah, which was fitting considering this current cancer crisis. It wasn’t quite enough for Mom who wished she could hear some Easter-specific worship. After a quick YouTube search, we were singing “Up from the Grave He Arose” and “The Hallelujah Chorus,” badly and off-key.
We won’t be having a big, fancy meal or hanging out with the rest of the family, but that’s okay. I learned that Christmas 2012. Our faith is based on a relationship with a real and living God. Missing out on a couple of days among all the days I’ve walked, and will walk, with Christ has no affect on His presence in my life. Whether or not I get a Reese’s peanut butter egg does not change the fact that Christ was crucified, rose from the dead, and sits at the right hand of the Father.
Christ’s resurrection brings the simple promise that there is more than this earthly life, and while I look at my father’s struggle with cancer, I am confident in that promise for him. Regardless of where this cancer road goes, I know Dad’s ultimate rest and that knowledge brings me some peace amid all the worry.
Our simple techie service was enough to mark God’s unending and unimaginable love and Christ’s willing sacrifice. It is enough to bolster us for the next week while we await test results. It is enough to carry us through the uncertain journey ahead. It is enough.