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Why Not Me?

Updated: May 13, 2021


I was 21 years old when my father was diagnosed with lung cancer. Hearing that word, that diagnosis – cancer – provoked an immediate fear. I was gripped by the fear of what if. What if my dad doesn’t survive this? What if the doctors say he only has 6 months to live? (and they did) What if my father is not here to walk me down the aisle when I get married? What if?


How will I live without him? How will we live without him? He is our protector, our covering, our headship. He loves us with the love of Jesus – unconditionally. I’m not ready for this. Not this. Suffering. Retching from the harshness of chemotherapy. Spewing-out the madness of cancer. Silent pain speaking, “Are the kids ready for this Carrie?”


One day I asked my father, “Why you dad? Why are you having to go through this? You are a godly man, a man who loves his family well and would give a stranger the shirt off your back – Why YOU?” My father responded with three words that would shape my response to difficulties and hardship for the rest of my life. He answered, “Why not me?”


I could hardly breathe. What did he mean? Is he being cavalier? No, that’s not his way. But what does he mean?


“Dad, what do you mean?” My father said (I’m recalling this to the best of my ability), “Robin, who am I not to suffer? Jesus, took on my shame and sin, was scorned and endured the pain of the cross, suffered for me and for you…so, why not me? Why should I escape difficulty, hardship, sickness, cancer? Maybe, just maybe God is using this too. Why not me?”


This is a hard perspective. But, if not for this perspective I may feel victimized by every difficulty that life presents. Why not me changes the playing field.


This shift in perspective and attitude applies on the other side of the coin too. This shift energizes and encourages action. Why not me who applies for the job. Why not me who joins the PTA and serves the school community. Why not me who adopts a child. Why not me who advocates for the marginalized and forgotten. Why not me who runs for a government office. Why not me?


My father, Samuel A. Abram Jr. and his beautiful wife, my mother Carrie Abram


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