Jim Reed discovers he has cancer and the shock that ensues
By Jim Reed
I would love to tell you something else, but I have to shoot straight with you.
It was like a hand grenade had been placed against my chest and allowed to explode. Every cell in my body shook and turned to jelly. My heart started to beat faster, and in my panic, I spoke to my heart, saying “You are beating fast because you know your beats are down to precious few.” My thoughts raced to my wife. This news blew apart my life, and it would do the same to hers. Did she have to feel the pain of the explosion, too? I looked at the Doctor and begged, “How can I tell this to my wife?” He folded his hands and looked down at them and said, “You just have to tell her.”
I left the clinic and pulled on the busy four lane freeway to go meet my wife and daughter. I soon realized people were honking and yelling at me. I was not a safe driver. My sanity had left me now.
As I grabbed for straws, my mind slowed and drifted backward to a few months before. I was sitting in the chapel, staring out the windows at the beauty around me. Sitting there I removed worldly considerations from my mind and became conscious of God’s presence. In my mind’s eye as I looked out at the trees, I saw a vision of Christ nestled there in the natural setting, and it seemed so real and close. And then came a most direct and plain message. I t was so real, it shook my soul. “I am with you now, I will be with you always.” I was totally annihilated by it. A few moments later I tried over and over to recreate the image and the message. It was hopeless. I couldn’t do it. The message had passed. If you are like me, you don’t talk about things like this to others, and it was several months before I timidly told our chapel minister what happened. He was visibly moved.
And now, careening crazily down the busy freeway, it returned to me. First very softly – “I am with you now, I will be with you always” and then stronger – “I am with you now, I will be with you always,” peace at last, the peace we don’t understand, a warmth flowed through me. It was alright. I was not alone anymore.
Later being wheeled into surgery, I so much realized how the prayers of hundreds of you supported me. I had a fearless serenity and also a feeling of love for you that I had never in my life known before.
James Reed was the founder of Thorncrown Chapel.