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Southland Christian Ministry Training

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Short Term Pain for Long Term Gain

A word of explanation for all those people who have seen me this week and wondered about those ugly blotches on my face and forehead… and have lacked the courage to ask. No, I have not got the mainge, or chicken pox! I have been to see my trusty dermatologist who after burning off a few isolated spots, prescribed a wonder drug called “Efudix”, a topical anti-cancer drug which gets rid of solar keratosis before they become cancerous. So, it is a case of short term pain for long term gain, and I suspect it is going to get a lot worse before it gets better.

So what? In a past life I worked in the field of hospital pathology, and almost forty years ago I had the opportunity to be employed in the histology lab. This is the place where all those suspect lesions and lumps get sent to for diagnosis, to find out if they are malignant (cancer) or not. It was a great job, fixing, cutting, embedding, sectioning and staining, and I would like to think saving people’s lives! In those days the treatment was much more invasive, and even though I know things have changed, the message is still relevant – early diagnosis and treatment is very important! If you are not sure get yourself to medical for assessment.

The fact is, that does not just apply to diagnosing skin cancers and lumps, but relationship cancers as well. If you neglect the early signs of degeneration in your marriage, and sweep under the carpet those tell-tale signs of a sick relationship for long enough you may not be able to save it. Yes, early intervention might be painful, you may not look your best through the process but in many cases the relationship can be saved if you are both prepared to work at it, by dealing with the sick bits and adopting healthier habits. If you think that you might need help, don’t put it off come and see one of the Padre’s , the psychologists or DCO and get the help you need.

As I have talked to people this week I have noticed that there are others who are battling with spiritual cancer as well. They have healthy bodies and relationships but they have failed to develop and nurture their spiritual lives. Again the early signs of degeneration might not be obvious but the long term effects are serious. Maybe it is time to think about where God fits in your life, and to get a diagnosis you can attend chapel at 1830 each Sunday where we provide a catholic Mass and a Combined Protestant service.

Now is the time to do a physical, relational and spiritual health check, and if you find some problems, do something about it straight away. The cure might be painful but it is worth it. Your cure probably won’t look nearly as bad as I look!

Chaplain Ian Whitley

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