When I left America 5 months ago I said goodbye indefinitely. In order to integrate into my new community, I was resolved to leave as much of my culture behind as possible. Although I knew I'll always be an outsider, I wanted to fully commit to living life here, and that included not returning to America until my contract was over. Any vacation time was to be spent traveling- Europe, the Middle East, Central Asia, Africa- all the places I've never been.
And yet I find myself with a roundtrip ticket to Phoenix for tomorrow and a suitcase to finish packing.
My mom is currently in a hospice facility in Phoenix, Arizona. Modern medicine has done all it can to fight the cancer that is ravaging her body and now treatment will focus on increasing the quality of my mom's life, not prolonging it.
As I write these words, my heart is in deep anguish. Cancer has been a formidable part of my family's life for more than a decade now, but now that the long dread moment has arrived, I find myself incapable of processing the significance of what is happening. Essentially, I am leaving tomorrow to spend one last week with the person I have loved so dearly my entire life. I have no vocabulary to describe the dull pain in my chest, or the pit in my stomach, or my incapability to imagine a world without her in it.
In the midst of this anguish, my only hope is the the gospel.
"But in fact Christ has been raised from the dead, the firstfruits of those who have fallen asleep. For as by a man came death, by a man has come the resurrection of the dead. For as in Adam all die, so also in Christ shall all be made alive. But each in his own order: Christ the firstfruits, then at his coming those who belong to Christ, Then comes the end, when he delivers the kingdom to God the Father after destroying every rule and every authority and power. For he must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death."
"Behold! I tell you a mystery. We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed., in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet. For the trumpet will sound and the dead will be raised imperishable, and we shall be changed. For this perishable body must put on the imperishable, and thie mortal body must put on immortality. When the perishable puts on the imperishable, and the mortal puts on immortality, then shall come to pass the saying that is written: 'Death is swallowed up in victory. O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?'"
1 Cor. 15 :20-26; 51-55