Mary was battling breast cancer. She was a very spiritual person, someone who always had a smile on her face and love in her heart. When she was first diagnosed, Mary quickly embraced an attitude of hope and the promise of faith.

Throughout this battle, everything seemed to go right one day, and the next day, everything seemed to go wrong. But she refused to surrender to fear and despair.

After a year, enough had gone right to permit Mary to return to work. Later that same week, however, a sudden loss of energy and disturbing lab results dismissed her to her home again.

A few days later, a call came to my office in the late afternoon. Before I said a word, I heard uncontrolled sobbing.

I said, “This is Ron,” and then I listened.

Finally, Mary spoke: “I’m tired of doctors. I’m tired of hospitals and X-ray machines. I’m mad at insurance companies, medical forms and authorizations, and I’m mad at God!”

Again she broke into sobs. After awhile she quieted again, and then she asked, “Do you think God is upset with me for being mad at Him?”

“No,” I responded. “He understands what you’re going through. He knows what’s in your heart, and He knows it is your faith that brings you to Him, whatever you have to share.”

Faith is defined as “firm belief in something for which there is no proof.” The presence of faith does not mean the absence of questions or fears or doubts. If you have faith, it doesn’t mean you won’t hurt or the ones you love won’t hurt.

Having faith is knowing that — regardless of what happens during the storm — a lifeline is connecting you to the giver of life. Having faith is a promise that no matter how good or how bad life may be on this earth, this isn’t all there is.

by Chaplain Ron Hyrchuk

March 1, 2007