Tuesday, March 10, 2015

Free Will and Cancer Cells

I was sad to hear of the death of Lisa Bonchek Adams on Saturday.  What's strange about that statement is that I only knew of her existence for a week.

When I was at Mepkin Abbey, talk turned as it often does to the practice of writing.  One of my friends mentioned Adams and her blog.  We talked about how Adams had gone from blogging to only having the energy to tweet.  We talked about the viciousness of cancer, which seems to afflict so many people these days.

After reading Adams' blog, I felt sad at the thought of that voice, that content, reduced to 140 characters.  The blog is a treasure.  Hopefully we'll have it with us for a long time yet.

As I read about her cancer and all the places it had spread, as I read about all the varieties of chemo that had failed, I wasn't really surprised at her death.

Still, there is still this large part of me that hopes for a miracle whenever I hear a grim diagnosis. And then I am so crushed and sad when it doesn't happen.

None of it affects how I feel about God.  I pray for restored health for cancer patients, but I realize that I may be asking for something that God cannot grant.

Unlike many religious people, I don't believe in an all-powerful God.  I don't believe in a God that could swoop in and cure all cancers if only God would do it.  Because if I believed in that God, then what do I do with the fact that God does not swoop in?

I believe that God has set up a free-will universe.  We are free to act, as are all the other elements of the universe.

And yet, I am a Christian, so I do not believe that death has the final word.  I don't understand exactly how this free-will universe will be transformed into the ultimate Kingdom of God, but I believe that the transformation is underway.

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