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Cancer in Our Midst
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By David Vanderpool
Other Poems by David Vanderpool

Cancer In Our Midst

Since being diagnosed with cancer, I have written several poems meant to encourage other cancer patients.  I have posted a couple on Word Chimes and God has given me opportunity to use them numerous times in my personal realm of ministry.  I offer this poem as an exhortation to Gods people as He is using social and cultural circumstances that we have never known before to bring about repentance and purify His Church.  It is much longer than most of my poems but there was no way to fully present the analogy of physical cancer and spiritual cancer. 

 For those who do not understand this terrible disease, it is basically an illness of renegade cells within the body.  They take from the body what is needed to survive but they contribute nothing to the health of the body in return.  As they multiply, they literally deprive the rest of the body of what it needs to survive and if it is not stopped, the body will die as a result.

 Since being diagnosed with a rather severe cancer from which I am still recovering after two years, I was moved to write this poem, for I know of no other metaphor that can so well describe the battle that faces Gods people today.  I hope and pray that it will not be offensive to those who live close with this disease, but rather that it will be used to help propagate a needed message of exhortation.


Cancer in Our Midst

No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to one and despise the other.  You cannot serve God and mammon.

Matthew 6:24


Of all the human illnesses that plague the lives of men

there are those we fear above the rest

but there is one that takes a higher toll upon our life

and puts our very being to the test

We go to a physician when we think there’s something wrong

expecting that the problem soon will pass

and then we get the dreaded news that no one wants to hear

“A cancer did, within yourself, amass”

Cancer devastates our health by letting cells increase

that make no contribution to our good

and since the body must support these wild usurping cells

the others soon can’t function as they should

The problem with this illness that will make it one we fear

is that we know its’ presence, oft, too late

and since we do not know, at first, the presence of this foe

we give it time to plunder while we wait


There is in the Church today, a cancer, if you will

that takes its’ toll upon the Christian’s health

and just like cancer in our life that’s hidden for so long

this illness operates by way of stealth

This cancer is made up of the self-serving way we live

its’ devastation we cannot ignore

its’ presence has been with us now for, oh, so many years

that we can hardly function anymore

There is a treatment that will rid God’s people of this ill

but know that, with it, also comes a cost

Gods’ own hand and skill must now perform a surgery

without which, this fierce battle will be lost

In the process of this operation God performs

there will be removal from our midst

the poison teaching of today that says, “We have our rights!”

and God will make sure there is nothing missed


We can choose to go without this needed surgery

God's purpose will not suffer if we do

He said "I will accomplish all of the things that I have planned"

but we will suffer loss when He is through

Church of God, take heed today, submitting to His will

Do not let pride continue to destroy

for it is by God's love and mercy that He would perform

removal of this devastating ploy

It is time for those who claim to be in Christ to a stand

it’s time to separate from worldly views

for it is clearly taught in Scripture that this is God’s call

and living for His Kingdom we must choose

O, God, give those who see the truth the grace that they will need

to make the choice of doing what is right

Give them strength to stand amidst the pressure of our times

so they display Your power and Your might


David L Vanderpool

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Submitted: Saturday, January 9, 2016

Last Updated: Sunday, January 10, 2016

About the Poet
I am 58 years old and have lived in the Winona Lake area of Indiana for 16 years with my wife and children. I have written poetry for many years and use it primarily in personal ministry. For most of the past two years I have been recovering from cancer, something that God has used to impact my life in remarkable ways. I wrote a series of poems about the emotional and spiritual struggles that accompany having an illness like cancer. I used these to encourage people I met while going through kemo and radiation therapy. Since then, I have used them to minister to many people who struggle with cancer. I work with the chaplaincy in the healthcare wing of a local retirement village near my home where two of my three daughers also work. My wife often accompanies me and we find it very rewarding to be involved in the lives of the people who live there. My website address is http://callofissachar.com (Temporarily inactive)

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