It was obvious that we were just another number—a number on a medical file folder. When my husband’s name was called, we walked mechanically to the doctor’s office and were seated in chairs across the desk from a man we had known only a few days. Apparently he had been through this hundreds of times, and we were just the next couple to fall prey to the “C” word.
The phone call a few days before told us the results of the biopsy were not good. Today we heard the medical name for the death sentence that had been handed to my husband. I doubted that I could remember it. The lay terms were no better: Prostate Cancer, high PSA score, aggressive type, advanced stage. Strange terminology like metastasized and systemic swirled in my head as the doctor recited our options: A) surgery; B) radiation; C) chemotherapy; and D) do nothing.
The decisions were mind-boggling. Pint-sized hope was as scarce as hen’s teeth. We could pick and choose as much or as little as my husband’s declining health could endure. One thing was certain—we simply would not choose Option D—do nothing. Option D wasn’t who we were. It wasn’t what we were about. Regardless of any other factors involved, Option D would not be our choice.
We chose Options A, B, and C, but none of them stopped the growth of the cancer, including a last-ditch effort in an alternative treatment center in Tijuana, Mexico. The deadly enemy had gone undetected far too long—so long that nothing we did could prevent the inevitable death of its victim. Two years later my 55 year-old husband went to be with the Lord. Yet, when it was all said and done, there was one thing we were not guilty of—Option D.
I believe America is facing a similar diagnosis: an aggressive, advanced stage disease called “sin.” Words such as metastasized and systemic apply here as well. Clearly, a deadly cancer has infected our entire culture and is taking a toll on the health of our government, communities, schools, churches, families, and individuals. And yes, it too has gone undetected.
As a nation, we have options. While there are sharp differences in what we believe to be the best way to remedy the ills of our nation, such as liberal ideas verses conservative ideas and social solutions verses spiritual solutions, the one thing we must not do is to choose Option D.
Edmund Burke wrote: “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.” While the statement’s original wording is debatable, the concept is true nonetheless. It can also be applied in many areas of life; for example, our spiritual health:
The only thing necessary for me and you to go to hell is for us to do nothing.
The only thing necessary for me and you to remain in bondage to sin is for us to do nothing.
The only thing necessary for me and you to lose the battle with our flesh is for us to do nothing.
The only thing necessary for me and you to continue in a half-hearted relationship with Christ is for us to do nothing.
The only thing necessary for the Church to remain indifferent and un-revived is for Christians to do nothing.
The only thing necessary for the Church to be ineffective in our world is for Christians to do nothing.
The only thing necessary for Christianity to be silenced is for Christians to do nothing.
Complacency is a deadly problem. We hear its voice continuously in our ear: Things are not as bad as they seem. Other generations faced these same problems. Just ignore the issues. Tolerate the differences. Live and let live. Don’t get excited. Don’t act. In other words: Do nothing!
I fear that we have been complacent far too long. Yet, there are actions that we can take before our toxic condition worsens and we succumb to the inevitable—the death of a nation.
Whatever we do, we must never choose Option D. ~ Janie Kellogg