When life tumbles in
March 6, 2012
I was expecting February to be a typical month in the life of the Moderator of the General Assembly: visits to Riverside and Northern Waters Presbyteries, meetings in Louisville of the Committee on the Office of the General Assembly and the General Assembly Mission Council, and the NEXT Church conference in Dallas.
But then life intervened.
Turns out, the fatigue I’d been battling for weeks was caused by internal bleeding. Surgery uncovered the culprit: a mass in my abdomen. It was removed, tested, and found to be malignant.
I’m home from the hospital now, recuperating from the surgery. A chemotherapy plan will be put into place within the next couple of weeks. I have no idea, really, what the next months will bring, but it’s my hope to be able to resume most of my moderatorial duties by sometime in April, and to be in Pittsburgh to bring down the opening gavel for the 220th General Assembly in June.
I cannot put into words how much your prayers and expressions of support have meant over these past couple of weeks. I have literally felt the embrace of the entire Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.), and I am humbled and grateful to be within that embrace. It reminds me that, despite our disagreements and differences, “when life tumbles in” we come together to help one another. That surely will prove true as we come together to help all those whose lives were shattered by the recent terrible tornados in Indiana and Kentucky, as well as other life-changing events.
So much of what you have shared with me has given me strength for the journey that lies ahead. And, for me, that journey is not about battling cancer. It’s about living the life that God intends for me to live. It means serving faithfully as Moderator through the end of my term. It means doing what I can to help us as a church discern how we can do mission and ministry effectively into the 21st century.
What you have shown me these past few weeks is that I am truly blessed. Thank you.