‘Beyond the Big C: Hope in the face of death’ by Jeremy Marshall

Beyond the Big C by Jeremy Marshall, 10 Publishing, 2019. £3.99 at 10 of Those (£1.75 each if you buy 10 copies).

Of course unbeknown to Jeremy there would be a new Big C in town, no longer is it Cancer but Coronavirus. Cancer has been (temporarily) usurped. I’ve always known Cancer as the Big C. (My Mum died of cancer, my sister-in-law died of cancer, and my wife died of cancer) Even with massive leaps forward in treatment and diagnosis I think most people would still see it like that. A cancer diagnosis is a solemn thing.

As for the book, I started reading it in bed one evening and finished it the next morning. It’s a very short book – 70 pages. No chapters but lots of helpful headings throughout. His honesty at the shock diagnosis and the fears he had, are, I think, really helpful. I thought his honesty was, and is refreshing. Non believers out there aren’t stupid and can detect insincerity at ten paces so it’s much better to be honest.

A strong and vibrant faith is not incompatible with being afraid. I’ve seen it. We don’t want to be afraid but it’s a powerful emotion. Here’s a successful man, a very capable man whose world is changed completely. What he finds is that Christ is right there with him in his suffering. I know what cancer treatment involves, having seen what my wife went through, and it isn’t pleasant!

Just a brief quote from page 45:

I long for my suffering friends to know that God has entered this sad, fallen, sinful world and he meets us right in the midst of our grief and sorrow.’

‘What we can offer – as well as compassion to those suffering from cancer or other terminal diseases – is the one thing that the world craves above all things: hope in the face of death. I love to tell people how the Lord has, by his death, defeated death.’

That does not mean having cancer for a Christian is a barrel of laughs – it isn’t. It’s tough. Really tough.

I like the way he challenges non-believers but without being aggressive or condescending. This is a great little book to give away or maybe leave (COVID regulations permitting) in a dentist or doctors waiting room. You probably wouldn’t be allowed to do that, but it’s a thought.

3 thoughts on “‘Beyond the Big C: Hope in the face of death’ by Jeremy Marshall

  1. I agree brother. There is hope in the face of death and that hope is found only in Christ.

    Nov. 17 of this year, my wife and I celebrated 31 years of marriage, however, covid was not the Big C we encountered on that day. On that day, a few weeks back, we were sitting in a doctors office. It was after 6:00 pm and my wife was the last patient of the day. The doctor had already performed a colonoscopy the week before. She had a cat scan 2 days before and we already anticipated the news before the doctor had entered to tell her.

    He informed us of what he had to do during the colonoscopy and how he couldn’t go in with his scope and how he instead had to go down her throat. He discussed the cat scan and how it played a significant role in what he was looking for. He then proceeded, by being straight-foward and not beating around the bush. He told her that she had a tumor and that it was cancer.

    Last week we went and seen the surgeon who explained it in more detail. The cancer is in her colon, but also has grown outside the colon. It is in the stomach muscles and has grown possibly into the kidney. It is large.

    My wife goes into surgery tomorrow, with a whole bunch of possibles. The doctor is not sure what all he will have to remove.

    Be in much prayer for us dear brother as she undergoes this surgery.

    1. Oh Hershel, Brother, I am so sorry to read this. Yes, we have hope in Christ. We do. And that’s a fact. And we can know his presence. But it isn’t easy as you and your dear wife are finding out. I will pray. It’s a privilege to do so.
      If I can be of help, I will. If you need someone to talk to that understands, I can do that. Email me. I won’t be offended if you don’t.

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