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A Slice Of Life To Go is an online Christian blog written by Todd Thompson. It encourages people to see the beauty in ordinary moments and to know God’s unconditional, unfailing love in everyday life.

Remember Not To Forget

January 3rd, 2013

I am a cancer survivor.

The malignant tumor in my eye was (is) called retinoblastoma. It’s a fast growing tumor that starts on the retina and can spread outside the eye. It’s a juvenile cancer, most often showing itself in young children. Fairly rare in its presentation, each year in the United States only 250 – 300 kids will develop it. Thankfully, they’ve made great strides in research and it is a highly treatable cancer with a great success rate.

I am a cancer survivor. Yet the truth is, I have a hard time relating to fellow cancer survivors. Not because I’m uncaring or unempathetic. Rather because I don’t remember the experience.

I was only 17 months old at the time surgeons at the Mayo Clinic removed my right eye. I was too young to feel the trauma felt by my parents and grandparents during that time. Too young to feel the uncertainty my Grandmother did when she asked the doctor when I could be fitted with a prosthetic eye and he responded, “If he’s still alive in six months, bring him back.”

The surgeons at Mayo told my folks, “This tumor is malignant and it is spreading. We don’t know if at this minute there’s a cancer cell in his big toe. We’ve got to take the eye out.” To my parents, it was a potential life and death situation. To me, it was just another day.

I don’t think of myself as a cancer survivor, even though I am. So when a friend or acquaintance is diagnosed with cancer, I have a difficult time relating to them even though I’m a member of the same club.

I have a hard time relating because, simply put, I don’t remember what I was saved from.

Perhaps you, like me, have grown up in the church. Maybe you trusted God to forgive your sins as a child and you’ve spent all your years since calling yourself, as I have, a Christian. It’s a blessing to be sure. Yet I wonder…

Is it possible that we’ve been a Christian for so long that we’ve forgotten what we were saved from?

I see it when God gets a hold of that person we thought would never turn their life around. The big bad burly biker bully who gives his life to Jesus. And instead of embracing him we stand at a polite distance and think, “We’ll see. Let’s give it six months to see if he’s serious.”

I see it when that person whose lifestyle is a radical 180 degrees from our own is drawn to God’s forgiveness and grace. Instead of running toward them to help them learn to walk in the light, we stand in the shadows of the church steeple and think, “I wonder how long before they go back to their old ways?”

There is great danger in forgetting what we’ve been saved from. Without Christ, we are dead in our sins. The Bible says that “God showed His great love toward us in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us”. (Romans 5:8) Literally, God saved us while we were “still sinning”. He didn’t wait for us to clean up our act or learn to fly right. He didn’t make our forgiveness conditional upon a successful probationary period. No, He saved us first and completely to begin the process of making us more like Jesus.

The memory of what God has saved us from should always be fresh in our minds. When the joy of God’s salvation is fresh within us, we are quick to love and embrace others with the love and grace God continually extends to us.

The people God is drawing to Himself with His love and forgiveness need us to remember what we’ve been saved from.

Because we’re all in the same club.

“For God showed HisĀ great love toward us in while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” – Romans 5:8

 

Todd A. Thompson – ASliceOfLifeToGo.com