By Phyllis Clayton
There are many intellectual arguments that can be made for the existence of God. In this journal, we look at things in the sciences and show how they can be used to support the concept of God and to argue for the God of the Bible as the one true God. These arguments are very useful, but in the real world there are other things which impact us and which can provide even more compelling evidence for God's existence and His activity in our lives. Losing a loved one to cancer is certainly one of these. We can discuss how man's chemicals have caused cancer and can explore what we think God ought to do about it, but in reality it is how we as individuals face this tragedy and the losses that it brings that has the greatest relevance to people of all cultures and all levels of all societies. We would like to share a story of great faith, courage, tragedy, loss, and triumph with you.
In 1996, I suffered a heart attack and had a long recovery period. A lady named Judy Hines started sending me cards--every week or so. The cards were offbeat cartoons of silly things that could and sometimes do happen in the medical establishment, with some of them being far-out silly, but funny, incidences. Many times she would include appropriate biblical quotes that she particularly enjoyed and thought would encourage me. She never seemed to tire of sending these cards and writing personal encouragements on each one. Week after week, I enjoyed her cards, encouragements, and her written personal expressions of hope and love. In April, 2000, we traveled to Brenham, Texas, where Judy and Dave Hines lived to do a lecture series. David, Judy's husband, was an elder in the congregation we worked with, and we found that Judy's cards and her positive encouraging spirit were a blessing that everyone in the area enjoyed. Nearly every person we met had a "Judy story" to share with us about how she had encouraged and helped them. We also learned that Judy had suffered through three separate bouts with cancer as well as enduring a series of chemotherapy. We learned that she had written a book titled A Whiner's Guide to Chemotherapy which she used locally to encourage and support people in the community suffering with cancer and going through chemo. We got her permission to print the book and it was offered in our journal in January/February, 2001.
That summer, Judy and Dave Hines went to Russia and spent the whole summer working with missionaries in a number of places in the former Soviet Union and its satellite countries. The whole time they were overseas, Judy's cards continued with postage marks from all over the European continent. They returned to the United States in the fall and continued to write to us telling of people they had met in their travels and asking us to pray for them.
Around Thanksgiving time in November, 2000, one of her cards to me mentioned that her husband Dave had to go to the doctor the following week and to pray for him. A couple of weeks later, she told us that they had discovered that Dave had lung cancer. Judy's positive spirit never flickered and she continued to encourage me and send cards to brighten my day. Several weeks later she told us they had decided to go ahead and do radiation treatments on him to relieve his symptoms. Her cards were still filled with encouraging words to me and asking us to pray that Dave would recover. A couple of weeks after that, she wrote that they had taken a brain scan and found that he had multiple tumors in his brain. Judy's faith still remained strong as she talked about how good God is and how she could not imagine facing the challenges she and Dave were facing without having a deep faith in God. She stated in one of her cards that Dave just might get well with God. The next week, she told us that they gave him some chemotherapy to relieve the symptoms of the brain tumors and that Hospice had been called in. Her cards continued to praise God and encourage me with my problems--all the time talking about how good Jesus was and that she could not imagine going through something like this without our Savior who cares. On February 3 (about two months later), we received this beautiful note from Judy--still positive and encouraging others with a tribute to her husband and to God:
Lost my Dave early Thursday a.m., the 25th. Bless him--as he said "I got my miracle. I'm going home!" The kids all got here in time for all of us to climb in bed with him and love on him and joke and talk. They all went to bed about midnight. Then it was just Dave and me till he died at 2:45. Terrible and sweet. He didn't have pain for which I'm extremely grateful.To me, this dear Christian lady is an extremely good example for any and all Christians with the way she loves her Lord and practices what she believes. Judy's book is still available through our book program. She has given such a strong argument for God and for Christ from the real world and has shown all of us how to live and suffer a great loss in life, all the while bringing joy to others and glory to God.
I'm still sort of reeling with the speed of it all, but am surrounded by loving family, friends, brother and sisters. Feel God's love everywhere. Love, Judy
Back to Contents Does God Exist?, SepOct01.