Friday, February 23, 2007


Robert Webber is a professor and writer who has had a profound influence in my theology and, I can honestly say, how I live out my life as a Christian. Through his writings he has given words to ideas and thoughts that I have had for a long time but didn't know there were others who also thought the same things.

I have been very fortunate to meet Dr. Webber, speak with Dr. Webber and to have access to his Ancient Future books. I was very disheartened when I discovered that he had cancer and that it was terminal.

This morning I received an email from him and want to share it because like most of his writings it struck me in a profound and gentle way:

"After months in and out of the hospital with ever possible complication
(kidney failure, emergency operation for a pierced bowel, massive
infections, and chemo/radiation) 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. But, I’m also reluctant to be
presumptuous and tell everyone I’ve been healed given the statistical
downside of pancreatic cancer and the fact that we are foregoing any
definite tests for now, like a MRI, CT scan or PET scan.

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...

I hope that you all know that the love and prayers you have “sent” our
way are being returned to you from us. We are so deeply moved by them on
our behalf."
Dr. Webber,
I hope you continue to heal and please know what a witness to God's continuing grace and love you are.

jonathon norman


Andrew C. Thompson said...

That is a tremendous testimony of faith. It immediately made me think of St. Paul's words, "To live is Christ and to die is gain." Dr. Weber has clearly experienced the truth that underneath us all are God's everlasting arms.

Stephen said...

Thank you for the update, I have been wondering about Dr. Webber after hearing about his terminal cancer in December.

Do you know anything about Kathleen Baskin-Ball. I also learned that she was battling cancer this past January.

gavin richardson said...

thanks jnorm, i too was captured by the news of his cancer. this is uplifting to hear.