The other anniversary is much more melancholy. This month it is 20 years since I developed Crohn's Disease. I "celebrated" (if that is the right word) by having a colonoscopy yesterday. I should say that I'm fortunate as far as Crohn's patients go, in that I haven't had any surgeries on my colon yet, and that for most of the past 20 years, I've been able to stay in remission. But the upshot of yesterday's exam was the news that my Crohn's isn't quite in remission now, even if it isn't exactly raging. At my next appointment, the doc wants to talk treatment options, the remainder of which are semi-risky. I'm not sure how to go on this one. Do I stay on the meds I'm taking and risk surgery(ies)? Or do I take the newer meds and risk lymphoma? The Lady or the Tiger?
Anyway, all that has set me to thinking about life in a fallen world. I have more blessing and am more deeply loved than any man has a right to expect. God has sprinkled joy abundantly, yet He does not eliminate pain and suffering, even for His children, does He? C. S. Lewis, as so many times, says it better than I could:
The Christian doctrine of suffering explains, I believe, a very curious fact about the world we live in. The settled happiness and security which we all desire, God withholds from us by the very nature of the world: but joy, pleasure, and merriment, He has scattered broadcast. We are never safe, but we have plenty of fun, and some ecstasy. It is not hard to see why. The security we crave would teach us to rest our hearts in this world and oppose an obstacle to our return to God: a few moments of happy love, a landscape, a symphony, a merry meeting with our friends, a bath or a football match, have no such tendency. Our Father refreshes us on the journey with some pleasant inns, but will not encourage us to mistake them for home. (The Problem of Pain)