This weekend I went back to Charlotte to walk in the Race for the Cure with my mom. She is a breast cancer survivor, so her Bible study decided to walk in her honor as “Team Debbie.” It was a pretty awesome experience walking alongside 15,000 other people in the fight against breast cancer.
(And in case you can’t read my dog’s shirt, it says “Bark for a Cure.” She is a big supporter of the cause and has very strong feelings about it)
The whole event is designed as a kind of women’s empowerment event. Everyone wears pink, you can hear cheerleader chants all throughout the crowd, and various women don shirts reading “I love my ta-tas” and “Save second base.” Written on the bottom of each participant’s racing numbers was a line that read “I Am the Cure.”
And I ate it up. The whole experience made me proud to be a woman! It wasn’t until I glanced at my mom’s racing number that I even gave it all a second thought. The line that read “I Am the Cure” had been scratched out. She had instead written “God is the Cure.”
What a crucial point at an event like that! If we are the cure, then what kind of cure are we talking about when countless women were walking in memory of lost loved ones? If we are the cure, and the cure is healing from breast cancer, then what does that say about women who weren’t healed? Were they simply not strong enough? Brave enough? What does such a mantra imply?
That perspective sounds like a secular version of the popular prosperity Gospel. It teaches that if you will just have enough faith in God, He will heal you of cancer, get you out of debt, fix your marriage, and give you the life you’ve always wanted.
When this happens, the Church and the world are teaching the exact same thing–believe in something hard enough, and you’ll get all the material blessings you desire.
But when my sweet mom scratched out that line and faithfully wrote in “God is the cure,” she was not referring to the small feat of curing breast cancer. Yes, God is capable of that, but if healing from breast cancer is all that God can offer us, then we offer no hope to those participants who have lost friends and family. If that is the only cure we can expect from God, then there is nothing to run for.
But God is not just the cure. He is THE cure. He cures us of the ultimate disease–He cures us of death. He cures us in a way that transcends our corruptible bodies. He goes beyond curing us in this world and cures us for eternity. Yes, God can cure us of present illness and pain, but such sicknesses are but a passing vapor. There is a much greater healing that is needed, a sickness of eternal magnitude, and praise the Lord that HE IS THE CURE!
The reason that I know my mom had this in mind is that she walked in memory of her sister, Cheryl, who died 3 years ago after a battle with cancer. We continue to grieve her loss today, but Cheryl was a believer, so we know that while she didn’t receive the physical healing we prayed for, she now lives in glory with the Healer of her soul. We lost her, but God was still her cure.
In a world torn with war, economic unrest, poverty, fear and the upcoming presidential elections that will affect the direction of our nation, that is a message we need to be proclaiming. I am not the cure, nor is any doctor or any leader. But God alone, He is The Cure.
Thanks mom! And Cheryl, we miss you!