I was at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center today, for another set of tests to find out whether the treatment has been working. Short answer, yes, nothing has grown since March, and the medicines are not screwing up my blood. So, if I seem to be unbalanced and weird, well, I have always been that way, it’s just me.
But every time I go to MDA, especially knowing that I’m in good shape these days, I can’t help but pay attention to the people who are less lucky. Sometimes the cancer is harder to find, much less fight, and sometimes the fight is not enough. I see combat veterans who should be enjoying summer vacations from school, warriors who should be enjoying the fruits of a lifetime of work, and countless innocent victims in-between, brave but undeserving of the pain and trouble they have to bear. I am constantly reminded that this world is neither just nor merciful in its nature, and the only way such ideals can be made real, is if humans choose to undertake them. MDA is full of such people, people of real integrity and ability, whose competence is equal to the mission, and I thank God for them.
And that brings me to today’s topic. I am not particularly impressed with people like Al Gore, and I don’t mean his politics. Gore is one of those image-first types who think that packaging is the be-all end-all of ideals, and what bothers me is that this conceit is very, very common, so much so that I am concerned that many of us buy into the notion to some degree, this notion that actually doing good is not so important if we just show that we mean well. It doesn’t do anything for the people who need it, but the trick to this stunt is that the posers play off any sense of guilt. They only want the best, you see, and so they cannot be held accountable for the problem.
One of the most damning charges which a non-Christian can level at a believer, is the way so many of us behave. Again, I am not getting into the politics of driving the “right” car or voting according to some special-interest group’s dictates, but the simple, horseshoe-to-the-head revelation that if we want to be Christ’s disciples, we must act as He did. Not the miracles, I mean, but the compassion. Healing, helping, and beginning every encounter with honesty and dealing with the need. The way we really act when faced with real problems, well, that depends on what we are made of, and some of us seem to be made of lint. Soft, harmless, flexible, probably mean well, but useless and in the end worthless. God save me from being only a man of Lint!