I especially liked the comment his doctor made as she examined him that went something like this, "The further he gets out of treatment, the less likely he is to relapse." That is great news of course but I caught myself thinking it like this, "The further he gets out of treatment, the more likely he is to forget."
Complete physical healing is a tricky thing. Complete healing often means there are no recognizable outer marks that distinguish you from anyone else. No one will look at CJ and say, "Wow, look what God has done," because he looks like any other kid his age. I am not trying to be insensitive. I am extremely thankful that God chose to heal CJ without further complications and I know many of my friends whose children have amputees or some other physical evidence as a result of their treatment would probably trade places with us in a second. However, I can't help but feel like the evidence of what God has delivered them from is always present and a constant reminder to them and at the same time speaks as a loud testimony to others who encounter them. CJ's testimony is in his heart and mouth.
I met with another mom this week whose son went through treatment for Lymphoma with CJ. Like me, she struggles with this new phase of life after cancer as if it never even happened. She was at his flag football game earlier that morning and she described the struggle of standing there on the sidelines watching and knowing what a miracle she was witnessing and how it has impacted their lives and yet there is no physical evidence of what they went through as a family. She finds it hard not to talk about it and share it with the other moms watching the game. I could relate to everything she said and the post treatment struggle she was dealing with. And it makes you wonder how many miracles we witness everyday we never even notice.
So it has me thinking. Why are some struggles we face left with physical evidence like Jacob who walked with a limp after he wrestled with God and others like Paul who had a thorn in his flesh to constantly remind him of Gods grace on him, while some just take up their mat and walk. If you never encountered the blind beggar before he was healed you would have no reason to glorify God upon meeting him, unless he shared his testimony with you.
Then this morning I was reading Luke 17 and something new jumped out at me. Jesus healed ten men of leprosy from a distance. This appears to be a complete physical healing from a very obvious outer affliction. Upon receiving the healing only one of the ten men returned to Jesus praising God "in a loud voice" thanking Him. But that statement "in a loud voice" seemed out of place and important. Why "in a loud voice?" Jesus could hear him perfectly well. Furthermore, we know now that Jesus could hear his thoughts and knew them before he even thought them so why was it recorded for us that the man returned and praised God, "in a loud voice?" Why is that there in this account of the healing?
As I sat there pondering this I felt like God was saying it wasn't about Jesus. The man wanted others to hear. For me it was significant because it reminded me that although we don't have any physical evidence of the healing CJ received that would stand out to others, we do have a loud voice. That loud voice is for the benefit of others not Jesus himself. Jesus hears the volume of my heart no matter how loud my voice is. My voice is a testimony to those that overhear and give glory to God.
Tonight is our first meeting for the Man Woman of the Year Campaign for the Leukemia & Lymphoma society for which CJ has been asked to represent the campaign as Boy of the Year alongside a very special Girl of the Year named Hailey. This is a fun campaign where men and women race to raise funds through events and donations during a set time frame. The top male and female fundraisers are named Man and Woman of the Year at an exciting Gala that ends the campaign. Tonight I will share our family's story at kick off and CJ will speak "in a loud voice" at that Gala. I pray it echoes loudly reminding him and others of what God has done.
"One of them, when he saw that he was healed, came back, praising God in a loud voice. He threw himself at Jesus' feet and thanked him."