Good Folks, it is Friday, June 24, 2016.
Our youth group, with Pastor Alex and Director of Youth Liz Ogle, are finishing up their projects in Rowlett. Campus Revival Projects begin tomorrow at 6:00 a.m. in Aldersgate (orientation) with coffee, juice, donuts and kolaches. Getting connected to the church and each other is the order of the moment. There are several small projects that members of the church can do, so that we do not have to outsource these with costs to the church. Very doable projects and “we need many hands to make the labor light.”
For my birthday I received two books, apart from other gifts. One is entitled, “Franklin Barbeque: A Meat–Smoking Manifesto“, by Aaron Franklin and Jordan Mackay. The other one is “When Breath Becomes Air” by Paul Kalanithi, with a forward by Abraham Verghese (Random House, New York).
I mention these two books because both are located on my night stand beside my bed. I have glanced through the first one, but have read through the second and am now rereading it.
Few books, next to the Bible, capture my attention to a point that I read them twice, back to back. Paul Kalanithi wrote this book knowing he was going to die of cancer. He had trained to become a surgical neurologist scientist, and to be the best in his field. He had also wanted to be a writer, where before going to medical school he got a Master’s degree in Literature. (Seemingly, for the fun of it.)
He writes in such a way that just holds you to every word, occasion, surgery, argument with his wife Lucy, and oncologist appointments. He perseveres, but never gives up. He is religious and hopeful, but as a doctor himself understands first hand the reality of his condition. He is mortal. He does not want to die and leave his wife, daughter, family and dream of being a doctor. He dies. His beloved Lucy finishes the book with Verghese doing the Forward, only to have met him once, yet getting to know him best after Paul’s death.
Like my sister Virginia’s death that made me painfully and religiously aware of my own mortality, Kalanithi helps me journey with him to his last breath. This book is not a “downer” of a read, but one of hope, faith and life lived to its fullest.
On a side note, Paul shares part of the medical student turn doctor world that is fascinating and enjoyable. He is real. He yearns to make a difference in the world, realizing that time will not be his to have.
We leave a legacy when we take our last breath. Everyone leaves a memory with someone else. Like Paul Kalanithi, I really want to make a difference in the world. I invite you to invite the one that made a difference in my life, Jesus. From that new starting place, go.
Blessings from Duncanville,