I recognized that whatever God does will endure forever;
there is no adding to it, or taking from it.
While visions of last night’s fireworks linger in my memory, so do my memories of a dear friend who left our company just after our July 4th revelry some years ago…
John had battled cancer for months. After completing chemotherapy, John’s doctors, family and friends felt certain that his future was secure. He was a good man and a good priest. His life made all of the difference in the world to each of us. He’d managed far more difficult challenges than this illness.
With this good news to inspire me, I headed to my computer to get a letter off to John. He’d been recuperating at his brother’s home where he was a captive fan. I mailed him a letter and these reflections each week. Since July 4th approached, I wished John a generous measure of freedom with which to get on with his life. My litany began with “…freedom from illness, freedom to breathe in as deeply as you want to –with no pain! I wish you freedom from chemotherapy and I wish you hair! I wish you the freedom to get back to the people and the work you love and the freedom to come and to go as you please.”
John never read that letter. He returned to the hospital the day after its writing. His struggle to breathe had become too much. A drug-induced coma failed to restore his lungs. When pneumonia set in, John couldn’t fight it. John let go of this life to embrace ultimate freedom.
Loving God, John made the most of his freedom by doing good. Be with us as we strive to do the same.
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