Today has turned out to be one of those turning points. We came home – from our other home (nous avons deux maisons que nous appellons ‘chez nous’) – to greet the autumn equinox. The days and nights are now the same length, which is itself a tipping point of sorts – another chance to reassess and look back down the road: indeed I wrote about that last year when our journey seemed both more painful and simpler!
12 months later, despite being additionally aware of the half way point of the 40 days of preparation I mentioned in A slight change of plan… rather than attempting to analyse what has been happening (not sure I can make any sense of it anyway… ‘through a hedge backwards’ comes to mind) we are instead highly focussed upon the mountain ahead of us over the next 3 weeks. We’ve bumped back into England’s atmosphere barely rested and still bruised by the blows aimed from all sides, and here we are rising from the corner of the ring to face the next round! Lord, give me grace for today!
Today is the 21st – as good a number as any, indeed one of my favourites, 7×3 – and happy birthday Lucy too 😉 It speaks of ‘breakthrough’ and maturity: in Daniel the angel got through after 21 days battling (Daniel 10v2,13) and we all know in popular song it’s when you get ‘the key of the door’ (never been 21 before). In our case the door in question is 8c Park Street and although we won’t have the actual keys until 30th of the month (Jewish New Year) apparently from today we are responsible for the bricks and mortar of that house incase of fire and other such damage: yes, contracts have just been exchanged. Hurrah… I think! (that makes house no 3).
But tonight, perhaps even more significantly, Martin and Sam’s short film about conventional/complementary cancer treatments will be aired on BBC 1, just after 7pm – on The One Show, prime time TV. How did this happen? We just kept walking (honest, officer!) and found ourselves here… I hope we were following Jesus – though sometimes it is hard to be 100% sure. There is the small matter of cannabis use being highly illegal! Martin’s career is on the line if they don’t edit this piece correctly! Sam thinks it’s his chance to spread the word on something that has a huge underground following…
So here we are, today 21st, at a tipping point – and at least we can be sure that whatever the rights, wrongs and questions, the Lord knows all about it and He is with us. When the roller-coaster ride goes over the top we scream… exhilaration mixed with fear: of course it is exciting, but we are also nervous and more than a little overwhelmed about what will happen next. Our personal and tender story – our very hearts – will be on display to millions, in the guise of a medical debate. (“What do you call alternative medicine that works? Medicine!”) Yet Sam’s evangelism for something not just alternative, but illegal is a hot potato! It gives him hope – even faith – in an impossible situation with no conventional alternatives to speak of… but it is the father Professor’s presence that creates so much media interest.
Martin’s defence against professional attack is that he is just being a good dad. He is a brilliant mind, an accomplished and highly educated specialist, a comfort to his many patients, wise and well informed. He doesn’t suffer fools gladly – he knows what is and isn’t good medicine and has no time for charlatans making money out of suffering and desperate people. There are many things that Sam has followed up that make us cringe and groan… but what could we do? We are not in control of this young adult’s decisions, brain tumour or not.
He is a good dad: he is trying to support his son and give him hope; he is standing by him to make his dreams come true if he possibly can. He is praying and loving and giving his time… for free. I hope the world sees that. This is not a row, as the Mail headline claimed – it is a family holding together through differences and pain, and a man putting his son before his reputation or his own opinions. Come on Martin: we are proud of you!