Paradox, you’ll say? Well, here is the story and you be the judge!
You get bronchitis. Your cough goes from bad to worse and so you go to the doctor for antibiotics. You wait in the reception area until a cute nurse takes you back to the examination room and takes your vitals. You are half way done with a fitness magazine from the stack when the doctor walks in. He listens to the wheezing sounds in your chest, writes a prescription, and suggests an x-ray “just to be sure”. Forty minutes later he walks back with your x-ray in his hands and a concerned look on his face, talking about “some shadows in your lungs”. He holds the image against the light and there you see it in the middle of your chest—a bullseye large enough for target shooting. It has to be a tumor. Likely—your death sentence.
From Shadows to Light
This actually happened to me and it was one of the scariest days in my life. As I walked out of the office, I stared at the blue of the sky and curly white clouds as if I were seeing them for the first time. I actually listened to the green leaves on the trees and tasted the smell of Atlanta’s spring air as if I were taking the first (or the last!) breath of my life. People are right when they say the sun is brighter, the air sweeter, and life is more beautiful as you face death. Why had I foolishly wasted so much time in my life when I could have been be living? It was this unspoken question that started turning things around for me. I wasn’t dead yet and, no matter how much time I had, there was still some living left to do. And I knew just how to go about it! I was determined to do right by my wife and kids, but also to start living the dreams that had always been put off until “someday”. “Someday” had just arrived!
Record Music, Publish Books, Live a Dream!
One of my dreams had to do with the very situation I was facing—living a meaningful life within a stone’s throw of death. For years I had wanted to bring a remarkable Russian Christian novel entitled “The Miracle of Mysteria” to American readers. In the novel, as the Plague approaches a small XIV century Swiss village, its priest and inhabitants find a way to turn their terror into a spiritual triumph. This story had helped me in my darkest hour, so how could I keep it hidden from people facing the same kind of darkness I was? Although the book would be a logical choice for Christian readers, let’s face it— someday each of us will have a date with the Grim Reaper! So, I am proud to tell you that this dream is finally a reality: “The Miracle of Mysteria” by Leonid Belov is finally available on Amazon.com. You may read its first several chapters on the book’s site. And if any of your friends, Christian or not, are facing a difficult and seemingly hopeless situation, please forward them the link—it may be exactly what they need.
The scariest day of my life was ten years ago. Three weeks, a couple of CT and one MRI scan later the doctors announced great news: the bullseye tumor was benign. My date with the Grim Reaper had been postponed until later. And the miracle was that the prospect of meeting him had woken me up to a life full of dreams that I have been fortunate enough to have the time to live. It’s a wonderful thing to be alive!