BBC Radio Leicester Thought for the Day

© John Denney 18 May 2005

God cares – and shares


Yesterday’s announcement that Kylie Minogue, the pop superstar, has been diagnosed with breast cancer sent a shockwave of dismay around the world.  It was on every news broadcast from early morning to late night.  Kylie is a much-loved celebrity, an actress and singer who is liked and admired by countless people who wouldn’t even regard themselves as fans.


Yet yesterday there were 112 other, anonymous, women diagnosed with breast cancer in the UK, and there will be 112 today, and tomorrow.  Each day there are 370 men and 370 women who are told that they have some form of cancer.  None of these men and none of these women have had the news of their diagnosis on every news bulletin and every newspaper front page.  Nonetheless, for each one of them, and for Kylie Minogue as well, they are set to face a major physical crisis and test of character as they undergo treatment.  Cancer is no respecter of persons.  Cancer strikes the rich and famous as readily as the rest of us.


And the medical profession has been devising treatments that have led to survival rates from cancer that were unimaginable in our parents’ and grandparents’ generations.  Around four out of five women survive breast cancer, for example, and the earlier the diagnosis, the better the chances are.  Many of us know people who have had cancer and are now free of it.  There is good news out there.


They say that one of the factors that make for a good recovery is the loving support of family and friends.  A teacher I know lost all his hair from chemotherapy.  When he walked back into his class of sixth-formers, he found that all the boys had shaved their heads to show solidarity with him.


Another positive indicator for a good recovery, they say, is a sure faith in God.  To know that God loves you is the ultimate security; that whatever happens, God cares for you even more than loving parents care for their child.  And to know that the God who loves us understands physical suffering because he experienced suffering here on earth is a real comfort.


I pray that Kylie and everyone listening who has been touched by cancer or other serious illness may know the love, the peace and the healing touch of God.


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