In all the frenzied media debate about euthanasia and assisted suicide, the question of what lies beyond death is almost never raised. Thirty years ago, CMF's best selling book was published posthumously. 1 Its concluding passage is immensely relevant. A young family doctor, James Casson died of a malignancy in 1980 after a long illness. He recorded many of the lessons he learned during that difficult process and describes the outcomes of various prayers for healing. He was not cured and struggled with this, and with his feelings about how to pray and be prayed for. He ends:
However, the conflict of whether 'I was doing everything correctly' did trouble me. Release came with the realisation that the whole issue was out of my hands. One morning I had a clear picture that I was in a boat. Before, when asking for healing, it was as though I was in a punt where one stands at one end pushing on the punt pole and steering with more or less expertise.
Afterwards, I was in a rowing boat, my back to the direction I was going, but travelling in a much more leisurely fashion. The great joy was that the Lord was at the tiller, his face gently smiling and his eyes twinkling as he quietly guided me to my destination.
Was I healed? Yes I believe I was.
1. Casson JH. Dying – the greatest adventure of my life. Republished with Casson P. My Cancer. CMF, London 1999.