Tony Snow: Blessings arrive in unexpected packages.

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Tony Snow: Blessings arrive in unexpected packages.

Yesterday (7/11/08) 53 year-old Tony Snow died after a courageous and unusually inspirational battle with cancer.

The following is an excerpt from a personal essay written by Tony Snow, President Bush’s Press Secretary, that speaks of his fight with cancer. Commentator and broadcaster Tony Snow announced that he had colon cancer in 2005.

Following surgery and chemo-therapy, Snow joined the Bush Administration in April 2006 as press secretary. On March 23, 2007, Snow, a husband and father of three, announced the cancer had recurred, with tumors found in his abdomen,- leading to surgery in April, followed by more chemotherapy. Snow went back to work in the White House Briefing Room on May 30, but has resigned since, “for economic reasons,” and to pursue ” other interests

“Blessings arrive in unexpected packages, – in my case, cancer.

Those of us with potentially fatal diseases – and there are millions in America today – find ourselves in the odd position of coping with our mortality while trying to fathom God’s will.

Although it would be the height of presumption to declare with confidence “What It All Means,” Scripture provides powerful hints and consolations.

The first is that we shouldn’t spend too much time trying to answer the “why” questions: Why me? Why must people suffer? Why can’t someone else get sick? We can’t answer such things, and the questions themselves often are designed more to express our anguish than to solicit an answer.I don’t know why I have cancer, and I don’t much care. It is what it is, a plain and indisputable fact. Yet even while staring into a mirror darkly, great and stunning truths begin to take shape. Our maladies define a central feature of our existence: We are fallen. We are imperfect. Our bodies give out. But despite this, – or because of it, – God offers the possibility of salvation and grace. We don’t know how the narrative of our lives will end, but we get to choose how to use the interval between now and the moment we meet our Creator face-to-face.

Read the rest of this piece at Christianity Today online.

Also take the time to read Bill Kristol’s editorial in the NYT . He mentions Tony’s love of Scripture and C.S. Lewis: “Tony once spoke at a dinner for journalists held in conjunction with the National Prayer Breakfast in Washington. Cal Thomas reported on Tony’s remarks: “After his first cancer surgery, Snow said, he had to stay in bed and he began reading the Bible more, ¢â‚¬Ëœlearning to pray’ and to ask God to ¢â‚¬Ëœdraw me closer, please, [which] develops a hunger that is also a form of joy.’ ” As this last sentence hints, Tony was an avid reader of C. S. Lewis.”

Yours for the pursuit of God in the company of friends, Dick Staub.

PS. And remember, “these are the best of times and the worst of times, but they are the only times we have.” (For Now).

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