It is pointless – with no value or reason or perceivable purpose. Cancer twists DNA and cellular function without cause or goal. It destroys and corrupts. It is faceless biological anarchy that attacks at random, without even the intelligence to know the harm it does.
Medically speaking, cancer is a collective term for a broad assortment of disorders known as malignant neoplasm. That’s Latin for “bad new cells.” For a variety of reasons, healthy cells in the body begin to produce unhealthy cells and those unhealthy cells replace the healthy ones. These bad cells cannot perform the functions that good cells do, and so that part of your body stops functioning. Then, the bad DNA somehow jumps from one part of the body to another, shutting down your body one part at a time.
It’s nasty. I hate it.
There aren’t many things I hate, but cancer is one of them. I lost my grandmother to cancer. My wife has had cancer. This year, I lost my friend and guitar mentor Ron to cancer. My sister-in-law is fighting cancer. Countless families in our church have family members battling cancer.
I hate it. I have no explanation for it. How can we ever find a way to deal with something so blindingly random and maliciously deadly?
I am a pastor. I am supposed to have the answers in times like this. I don’t.
I am a man. I am supposed to be able to help the weak. I can’t.
I am a human being. I see others suffering, and I want to comfort them. What comfort is there when your opponent is a nameless, blind darkness that dwells within their own bodies – is their own bodies?
If cancer is anything, that is what it is – darkness. For no reason and with no reason, it is the unexplainable nothing that eats at our reality.
If cancer teaches us anything, it is that we were created for beauty and health and goodness; and that our world is none of these things. The very molecules of our bodies are against these things.
If there is anything in the world that tells me that our world – this physical existence – needs a Savior, it is cancer. The very existence of this terror shows me that we cannot find our salvation here. We must seek He who will make all things new.
Even so, Lord Jesus, come.