It’s 3:45 AM. I’m in a hospital downtown Louisville. It’s a hospice hospital. In the room down the floor is a man in my congregation. He is sleeping; his mother is sacked out in a chair next to him. He’s been dying of cancer for about 18 months now. He requested that members of his congregation come be with him.
I can’t even begin to imagine what it’s like for him. His oldest son is serving an LDS Church mission in Nevada. He has 4 girls at home.
4:30 AM. Kirk woke up and I’ve joined him. His mother-in-law went home. His life now seems to be mostly a roller-coaster of pain. The ups and downs are dictated by the timing of the pain medication.
He prayed with his mother-in-law before she left. I guess that’s a sign of faith, to be laying there, in pain, and praying for help. I wonder what sort of help God gives to people in his condition. It doesn’t seem that he takes the pain away. Now only drugs are doing that. Does he give you peace? Does he just watch? Maybe the pain and the anxiety are just the table stakes for being here – and you just have to go through it? I don’t know. What do those prayers mean?
Kirk is about my age.
We were talking… He can’t lift his legs any longer. He said the cancer stole his muscles. He showed me his arms – the muscle is all gone. There’s just skin, tendons, and bones. When he was healthy, Kirk could move the world.