At 28, Bill is only a few years older than me. He's funny and intelligent and charmingly captivating. He’s a lady’s man and a follower of Jesus and this year, Bill found out he had cancer. I’ve only met him once. He is a good friend of a good friend and I’ve been praying for him, well really, we’ve been praying for him — me and Nick and our small group. We pray and we believe God is listening and it’s amazing to see the things he does and the power of prayer and last night, we all met Bill — this man we’ve been praying for — for the first time.
Today, Bill’s left leg was amputated. The tumor was below his knee, but the doctors had to take his knee, too. Bill is a drummer. He’s glad they took his hi hat leg and not his other one. He’s glad about a lot of things like the way he met God through all of this and the way he got to go to Worlds of Fun and ride the rip cord last Sunday and the way that God is teaching him new things every day. He knows that getting his leg cut off is all part of the plan and that blessings are surely on the way. He told us this, as we sat around the hospital room, holding back tears for a man who we hardly knew and whose pain we cannot relate to. His dad was there and his mom and step dad and a steady stream of visitors had been pouring in all day. And through it all, Bill sat on the bed in the middle of the room with both legs, fully knowing that the next night, he would be without one of them. We talked about his upcoming physical therapy and how he’s going to have to learn balance again and how eventually, he’ll have a prosthetic leg and maybe he’ll join me one day at the starting line of a marathon and then, when that happens, he’ll have his rock star hair back and he’ll be healthy and he will have touched even more lives than he already has. We joined hands around his bed and prayed, for him and the doctors and the surgery and we thanked God for the miracle of salvation and for support and friends and then, we walked away. On both feet, we got to leave the hospital. We walked to our cars and walked into our houses and climbed into bed and it was easy. And it made me sick and that’s when I told myself that if I even thought about not wanting to get out of bed the next morning or about how tired I felt or how my body hurt, that I wouldn't have learned anything from a man who so easily placed his life in God’s hands when things got crazy.
So, thank you Bill. For teaching me about truly trusting in God and about looking at the big picture and about being a light in a world full of darkness and anger and pain. From the bottom of my heart, I thank you.