One Reason to be a Christian

    I have a friend whose father has prostate cancer.
    My friend is not a Christian.  She is a trendy, 21st century American.
    What is she going to do with the stress?  She is very close to her father.  She would be mortified if anything happened to him.  Now she has to endure her father receiving months of treatments, all the while not knowing how he will respond to them.
     I do not envy her father, and I envy her just as little.  I truly feel sorry for her.
     Having just gone through the death of two parents last year, I can say that I am not immune to stress.  I had bad days, terrible days, and certainly felt the impact of the tragedies.
     But for the Christian, there is an underlying peace that accompanies suffering (like the stress of chemo treatments, their side effects, and the effects of cancer itself), the fear of death (a big stressor), and death itself.  All of these things are bad.  But for the Christian, there is peace as well: peace that God is palpably present during these times, peace that God Himself experienced human suffering, and peace that God Himself experienced human death.  What’s more, the Christian has peace that God conquered death: after experiencing it, He was raised from the dead, body and soul.  This Resurrection is the very spirit into which we are baptized, and out of which we live and then die.  It is what defines us as Christians.
    I picture being a Christian as entering into the Resurrected Body of Christ, as a cell or living molecule.  The very essence of the Resurrected Christ becomes the very essence of my spirit, my soul, and one day, my body.  It is the foundation of my hope, my peace, my joy, my faith, my love, and my patience.
     The Christian has the Resurrection and the bedrock of her faith: it is what she most believes in, what she most esteems about God, and what she is most certain about.  The Resurrection, then, comes to bear in a powerful way when one is facing mortality: facing my mortality or that of my loved ones, I would want to have given my life over to God, whose cornerstone gift to humanity is the Resurrection.  No other faith, and no secular view, has the optimism that Christianity does.
    It is unpopular to be a Christian these days.  That is because so many people who call themselves Christians have given it such a bad name.  But the beliefs themselves, especially that in the Resurrection, cannot help but speak directly to the human heart.  My hope for my friend and for all those whom I love is that the truth and love of God can speak loudly in their hearts and minds such that they can live a peaceful life, secure in the midst of human suffering and death.