In September 2016, my Dad was sadly diagnosed with cancer of the gullet. My Dad sailed through the first lot of chemo and was well prepared for the operation planned in the early part of 2017. Whilst the procedure was extremely invasive and was not without risks, everything went according to plan. The surgeon was thrilled with the results and confirmed that all the cancer had been removed and there was no trace of it spreading anywhere else. This was indeed excellent news.
Post op could not have gone better. Slow but steady progress was being made and a bright future was once again before him. However, at around three months in my Dad started to experience problems and was immediately admitted for further tests. Nothing conclusive could be found but due to his low immune system, pneumonia was soon upon him. This was a real blow and where the battle began. More tests, more confusion and as the weeks turned to months my Dads health started to fade quickly.
Finally, after much back and forwards to the hospital we received the devastating news that the cancer was back but this time it was terminal.
My Dad and I had spoken and deeply debated faith for over a decade. He would call himself a cynic, insistent on a humanist funeral and had no time for religion what-so-ever, whilst always respecting others beliefs. As his life was drawing to a close and with the encouragement of one of the Well prayer team members, I took him to The Well under the guise of what have you got to lose? To my surprise he agreed. After his session had finished we sat at the back of the church without saying a word. Eventually he broke the silence by saying it is all about the power of prayer. In the car on the way home he revealed that the prayer team had identified that he was in turmoil that he was encouraged to pray for release from it. He confirmed that this was indeed the case and that he harboured such anger and bitterness towards the medical profession who he believed had let him down.
Sadly, this was not uncommon for my Dad who had a long history of holding unforgiveness.
Unbeknownst to me, Dad had taken this insight from The Well seriously and had clearly pressed into it at a very deep level. The last time I saw my Dad before going into hospital, he sat me down and explained that he now wanted a Christian funeral. He told me that he had written out his entire service to include the hymns, prayers and even the vicar he wanted to conduct proceedings. He also informed me that he had forgiven his best friend that he had fallen out with some 18 months earlier. I was naturally thrilled and asked him a simple question, ‘Why?’ His reply was equally as simple, ‘Because I believe.’ He didn’t need to say any more as I could see it in his eyes and I heard it in his voice.
Of course I would have loved my Dad to have been healed of cancer, but as Anne put it to me I put it to you in this short testimony. Death is the ultimate healing in Christ Jesus. My Dad lived his life really well but thanks to The Well, he died really well too.