Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Last Friday Robert Webber died of cancer. When I was first exposed to his work many moons ago in Seminary, I didn't grasp the significance. Over the years I was able to come to my senses and to more fully appreciate his work and ministry.

He was diagnosed with cancer back in August of '06. In an email he sent back on February 23rd, Dr. Webber wrote,

"I was sent home on December 9th with the words "You have two to four weeks left to live). On December 9th I was a virtual invalid. My wife had to bathe me, dress me, feed me and walk me. I slept 16-18 hours a day and rarely moved any place except to my bed and couch. I even went under the care of palpable hospice. However, instead of getting worse and dying as predicted, I gradually began to improve. Now, two months later I am practically leading a normal life. I care for myself, walk without a walker, go out to eat, work out (to pound weights) and write every day. I attribute this improvement, however long it lasts, to answered prayer – yours and mine, my wife. I have literally bugged and argued with God!

So, in light of my improvement, how do you pray? I want to ask God to heal me but what if he already has. So, here is how Joanne and I solved our dilemma. We live and pray one day at a time. We pray each day and say, "Thank you God for the healing you gave me today. Please heal me tomorrow." It has occurred to both of us that if we were truly spiritually sensitive, we would have prayed that way all of our lives but it took the threat of imminent death to bring us to this point.

We cannot begin to tell all of you how we have benefited from your consistent prayers. We’re convinced that God is answering those prayers and that all the improvement thus far has come from God’s healing powers and that He is the source of all grace. I am confident that God sustained me today but I’m also painfully aware that I am "terminal," at some point, in the larger sense of the word, as we all are. Thanks be to God that Jesus Christ has conquered sin and death and we all face a great future."

In death Robert Webber lived as an example to us all, as he had done in life. He will be sorely missed in the larger Christian community.

The School of Dying Graces


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