Friday, April 27, 2012

Little William and Jesus: How is this Fair?

Sorry my posts haven't been the most upbeat lately, but the cross is where we have been living lately; and we aren't the only ones. And when I say 'cross', I mean experiencing forms of human suffering--in all of its shades and variations. On that theme let me reflect upon the question of fairness and God.

Little William and His Dad
I have walked through cancer, and lived to tell about it (at least up until today); by God's grace! But so many others don't enjoy the same experience as I have; especially those afflicted with Desmoplastic Small Round Cell Tumor-sarcoma (the kind of cancer I had)---you don't normally live through this disease to tell the tale. Such is the case, so it appears at this point (all things are possible with God, and he could without a doubt intervene in the life of this little guy I am going to be referring to throughout the remainder of this post), for a little boy named William. William was diagnosed, as I recall, with DSRCT cancer just after I was (I was back in November 2009); he has been through crazy chemo therapies, surgeries, stem cell transplant, etc. Just recently it seemed that William was in clear, but as is so often the case; William's cancer has come back with a vengeance! Here is his mom's most recent post and reflection (entitled Terrible, terrible truth) on William's plight:

From Mommy, Loiss.

Hi all. I want to thank everyone for the love, prayers, supportive words, and loving thoughts.

As my mom mentioned in her post on Friday, we are inpatient at City of Hope.

I don't have any creative, frilly, beautiful words to describe or poeticly phase what it is that we are all going through. All I can say is that my baby is nearing the end, and that my heart hurts to the extreme.

Williams little body is so weak, frail and heart breaking. BUT his heart and spirit stay true to the warrior he is. The tumors are starving his body, they are causing him pain, and they have hijacked his organs, but William keeps on keepin' on. Even through the pain, the heartache, the fear, the reality I still see the strong, silly, fun loving, caring and kind nature of Sir. William

William's comfort is the number 1 concern for everything and everyone. He is getting a continuous IV cocktail of pain medication and Ativan to help calm and relax him.

Randell and I have bridged the conversation regarding death and heaven. The first conversation was the hardest and William stated that he was not yet ready to talk about it. The next day he opened up a little more and he asked questions about heaven, why people died, who would be waiting for him, how he would talk/communicate with us when he wanted to ask us something. He asked if God gave the angels special powers and if so, if God would allow him to use his special powers to keep firefighters and pilots save. He cried a lot, we all cried a lot. He is scared about dying, we are doing everything we can to ease his fears and give him peace.(see the original posting here, with pictures).
 William's mom, Loiss, describes the situation the only way it really can be when she writes "I don't have any creative, frilly, beautiful words to describe or poeticly phase [sic] what it is that we are all going through." How is this fair? That seems to be a totally honest and genuine question. How is it fair or right that little William, or any little child, should endure the amount of chronic suffering that he has and is? The only answer I can come up with is that it is not! When Jesus came he didn't come to mete out fairness; in fact he came to contradict fairness (our conception) with something greater; his love! Fairness has an immediate orientation, an immediate gratification; God's love in Christ by the Spirit has an eternal orientation. The LORD sees what we will look like, and what we will be doing in the corridor of consummate and beatific vision; he sees the way that we will be worshiping and ministering in his presence for all eternity as participants in his life through the ongoing mediation of Christ for us as our high priest. He sees our sorry and angst; our dark seasons of the soul; our wandering moments through the love of his Son, Jesus Christ. It is this vantage point that throws our 'perspectives' into relief; that is not to say that the existential pain and suffering have been vanquished in this in-between time (remember 'death is the last enemy' to be put under Jesus' feet). But it is to say that all things have been made new and given redemptive life in and through the resurrection and ascension of Jesus Christ.

What I am writing about is the life of 'faith', not sight, that we have been called to engage God through in and through the faith of Christ for us. My point in this post will not necessarily serve as a comforting balm to Williams' parents, family, and friends, but it is the truth. There is nothing really left to do, but what Jesus did in his so called 'Passion'; all we can do is seek to bear the burden of William in and through the cry of Jesus, the cry that Jesus cried in the Garden; and the cry that He cries for William and his parents right now. It's not an empty cry, but it is the cry that Jesus cried at Lazarus' grave (even though he knew that he was just about to raise him from the dead); Jesus Wept! So even in the midst of the greater and more exceedingly powerful reality that we all know is the truth for William and all those who trust in Jesus for salvation; we still weep (but not without hope)! There is nothing fair about sin and suffering; but in the midst of it, Jesus continues to break into these circumstances with his redemptive embrace. William most likely is on the cusp of experiencing something that will last an eternity ... even though this is the truth, we still cry.


  1. Bobby - how hard it is to see little ones suffer. I like the quote "fairness has an immediate orientation...God's love in Christ by the Spirit has an eternal orientation." That's profound. William and his family will be in my prayers. Eric

    1. Eric,

      Thank you for praying; I can't stand knowing he and they are going through this. But I know if I can't stand it, Jesus and our God really can't stand it; and he has all the forces of heaven (himself the cornerstone and foundation of those forces) moving in behalf of little William and family! If only we had the eyes to see. William and family are surrounded by the heavenly host, most importantly the LORD of Sabaoth!!!

  2. I know you're exactly right, Bobby, it's just so hard to believe that when you're watching a loved one suffer. You're right again, if only we had eyes to see. I know our time on earth relative to eternity is so infinitesimally short, but at times it can seem like an eternity. I hope (and believe) that Paul is right about the "sufferings of this present time..." (Ro. 8:18) Eric


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