My friend Nikki Nielsen keeps telling me that Jesus loves me the most. Every time some incredible blessing falls into my lap, (which has happened regularly these past two years) Nikki says, "See, Mark? Jesus loves you the most." With a smile on her face. We both know it's a joke. I know Jesus loves us all the same. But when I look at the way things have gone since my diagnosis, I'm starting to think she might be right.
Before you think I'm bragging, read the Gospel of John. He calls himself The Disciple That Jesus Loved! Many times! I bet that made him popular with the other disciples.
I've written many posts where I recount the good things that have happened in my life since I got cancer. I don't want to repeat those posts, but I also don't want to stop counting my blessings. They have been many, and they have been constant. Let's start with the mere fact that Nikki is here. I told that story in Providence, Part Two. God brought her here just when we needed her. He did this. Many others are benefiting from Nikki's presence here, but I'm convinced God brought her here for Sharon and me. Because he loves me the most.
I don't know any other cancer patients who love going to their oncology office like I do. I don't know any who have the amount of support I have. I don't know any other cancer patients, let alone those who have stopped treating their disease and are in hospice care, who have the sheer sense of purpose I was given. All of this didn't happen because I'm so special. I'm just some guy, remember? I didn't do any of this. He did it for me. Jesus must love me the most.
A true friend paid our airfare so we could visit our friends in Texas just a few weeks ago. I told that story in Saying My Goodbyes. By the time we arrived, God had held up the construction of my dear Nicki Morgan's house for almost a year just so she and her family would be there in Jan's house while we were there. As soon as we left, Nicki's house started going up. Clearly, Jesus loves me the most.
I wrote and produced weekly song parodies for radio stations for eighteen years, many of them sports-related. For the last several years, my only remaining clients for this service were in Philadelphia and Houston. When sports teams were winning in those cities, it meant extra work for me. Not extra money, just extra work. I had grown burned out on what had been a really fun career mixing music and comedy. It wasn't fun anymore, and I wasn't making much of a living. But I didn't have that much extra work in my last few years of doing that because the teams in those cities weren't that good. As soon as I retire, the Houston Astros win the World Series and the Philadelphia Eagles are 8-1. Jesus must have kept those teams mediocre to lighten my load, and then as soon as I was on the sidelines, he allowed them to start winning again. He definitely loves me the most.
And can we just take one more look at the embarrassment of riches that was Morsefest? Come on. First, a bunch of people we've never met raised more than enough money for us to go in less than three hours. Then, were were included in the most elite VIP group there; The Hanlon Crew. We were put in the front row both nights. The second night, they interviewed me for the DVD, and put me front and center so I'd be in the camera shot for the DVD taping and final performance of my all-time favorite album. What other possible reason could there be? He really must love me the most.
And of course, that's why he has to take me home early. Because he loves me the most. He just can't wait any longer to see me. I'm thinking there's an opening in the baritone section of Heaven's choir. I am totally taking over that section, by the way. I'm thinking the choir director's been bugging Jesus about it. "Thy will be done and all, Lord, but that guy next to the empty chair cannot stay on his part! We need Mark up here!" And before long, I'll be the substitute director. Anyone who knows me knows it's true.
Of course, I'm having fun with this post. I'm not serious. In fact, every one of us can look at our lives and see evidence that Jesus loves us the most, if we care to really look.
You might think I'm crazy to say this, considering my condition. You may be asking, "Wait a minute, aren't you dying of cancer right now? How can you say that?" I say it because I've seen it. I feel it. I know it. And he keeps on proving it.
Though he slay me, yet will I trust him. (Job 13:15) The closer I get to him, the more I feel his love, and the more clearly I see the things he did for me when I had no clue what he was giving me, or what he was protecting me from. When you get to this point, I hope you can see it too. But right now, it sure looks like Jesus loves me the most. #waroncancer #bearingwitness