This weekend it was awesome to hear a portion of the story of Ed Dobson, a great man with a terrible disease. He has been a good friend to my sister and her husband--ever since December when Patrick was diagnosed with ALS. We had Ed, Lorna, Patrick and Dena over for dinner on Saturday evening. I felt a bit like an outsider watching two men of God, both counting each new day as a blessing, talk about life and God's sovereignty. I delighted in hearing them laugh together--which is a bit odd in a funny kind of way since they both struggle somewhat with laughing.
I don't know how often you have been in the presence of someone who is dying. But each time it seems like I am in the presence of greatness--of someone who understands better than I what is really important. The truth is, I may die before either Ed or Patrick, but when you have your health it is difficult to live in the reality of your mortality.
A few years ago, a YouTube video went viral and millions of people watched the Last Lecture of Randy Pausch, a professor from Carnegie Mellon. People tuned in to hear what a man with a death sentence would say with his final words.
Another such opportunity is coming this weekend. Here is a portion of an email my brother-in-law sent out recently...
By now you are aware that I have ALS. At this point it appears to be moving at a moderate to fast speed. Bob Johnson, our senior pastor, has expressed his desire to have me preach on a Sunday morning, for one last time. My voice is rapidly deteriorating in strength, and my words are very slow and slurred. After prayer, I agreed to this as I believe I have a message I want to communicate regarding trusting God because He is sovereign.