We’ve been following online the developments of a man I’ve mentioned before on the blog, Matt Chandler. He is the pastor of a church in the north Dallas area, Flower Mound, called the Village. I first heard about him from a friend of Becca a few months before we came to Ethiopia. I’ve listened to many of his sermons from their church website and have grown a lot under his teaching. Roughly two and a half weeks ago, he had a seizure and was found to have a brain tumor in the frontal lobe of his brain. He has since undergone surgery and is still in inpatient therapy awaiting discharge to home. I worked at Baylor with his neurosurgeon and so was pleased to know he is one of the best.

As Becca and I repeatedly check their church website for updates and a report about the pathology, I think often about Matt. I’ve only met him once… indeed I’ve only seen him once. It was during our last time in the States when Becca and I had the chance to visit their church. It was odd to finally see the person attached to the voice I had heard so often. He is only two years older than me and also has a young family, three young children. In some ways it’s hard to imagine what he’s going through, but in other ways it’s all too easy. When I imagine what it would be like to face a deadly and/or debilitating tumor at this point in my life, near the beginning of a career and with a young wife and family, it’s shocking. From a purely personal standpoint, I know that my soul is safe in Christ. I know that to leave this world is to be with Him. But I also know that it would break my heart to leave Becca and the kids without me. My heart and mind quickly go into this seesaw of contemplation, swinging from grief and pain to trust in God’s sovereignty and good purpose. My brain knows the answer but my heart has a hard time embracing it.

That seems to be the way of human grief. Mental analysis, though a necessary bedrock, is poor comfort. How wonderful it is that our Savior came and lived and endured among us to bring us home. How wonderful it is that He said, “I am the way and the truth and the life…” The most beautiful Truth in existence is a person, the one thing that brings the best comfort to pain, unlike theories and arguments.

I rejoice that Matt and I are brothers in Christ and that one day we will worship together before the King. In the meantime, I’ll pray fervently that he be fully healed and that his ministry here, both to his family and the rest of us, would continue. However it goes, though, alongside Matt I’ll trust that God is truly good and that He is working all things according to His good purpose. And we’ll trust that Christ is enough to get us all through.