Thank Lance. I just wanted to post this up so that I could change the SignPost02 motto. Oh and of course talk about Brian’s comments…
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Brian Houston blogs…
“I have been away overseas while a drama has unfolded in Australia about Michael Guglielmucci… writer of the song ‘Healer’, which has blessed and encouraged so many people.
Michael has confessed to making up the story that he was diagnosed with a rare form of terminal blood cancer and multiple secondary cancers.
This is easily the biggest and most elaborate hoax I have ever personally witnessed. I still am perplexed by it.
I have never felt any reason to question the validity of Michael’s story. I guess you don’t greet such horrific news as cancer with cynicism, and it’s a sad day when we have to do that.
I have known Michael’s parents since we were young people ourselves and they are great and genuine people. When Danny called me in 2006 to tell me of his sons illness I felt absolutely lost for words as he sobbed on the telephone. This family did not deserve such utter pain.
I just didn’t have any reason to doubt his story. There were one or two things that were hard to work out such as how anyone could function with multiple broken bones (I was in agony with one broken elbow, but I just thought I must have been a wimp.)
I saw Michael as an unbelievably gutsy and courageous man who was refusing to just lie down and accept his diagnosis.
I can only ever remember spending any significant length of time with Michael once. Apart from that it was short conversations here and there, and mostly I would hear how he was doing from his dad or from others. If I did get to say hi, I would ask him how he was and he would tell me where he was up to… but after a service one Saturday night when Michael was supposedly in Sydney for “specialized treatment,” I arranged to meet my son Joel outside a tiny apartment in the cities inner west. This is where Michael and his wife were staying. Joel had already been there for a few hours hanging out with Michael, as were one or two others. Michael was apparently in immense pain that night, as the pain killing medication he was taking was wearing off well before the four hours the doctors had instructed it should be, before he take any more.
When I went inside, Michael was sitting on the floor and had… I think… an hour and a half to go before he could take that next dose. The pain was obviously becoming more and more intense as he shook and groaned with sweat-beads clearly breaking out across his brow. Those around him began to gently pray and do what they could to keep him comfortable while Michael himself turned on a recording of his song Healer which he had made in his own bedroom a year or two before.
As the discomfort seemed to be getting worse and worse, I placed my hand on Michael’s head and prayed for healing with all the faith I could muster, whilst inwardly feeling helpless to do anything else but trust God for the miracle that this young man claimed to be SO diligently pursuing.
Eventually Michael could take no more of the pain and said that he was ringing his doctor, which he proceeded to do. (I don’t even know now whether anyone was on the other end of the line or what the pills actually were…but there was nothing to make me doubt it then).
The “doctor” told Michael it would be okay to take another half-dose and that’s what he did. Soon the pain eased again and things became much calmer, though he certainly still looked and acted very sick. A few other friends of Michael’s arrived, pizza was ordered and after about 45 minutes I said my
goodbyes and left.
I drove away that night feeling an overwhelming heaviness for Michael, his wife and his family. I also felt a real sense of pride as I watched those young people rallying around him as indeed they have done all over Australia and in other parts of the world.
That night was the closest I got to seeing first-hand what others witnessed many times. His friends saw him coughing up blood and were there when vomit had to be cleaned up. At other times they dropped him off at the hospital, picking him up hours later as he insisted that he did not want them to come in. There had been a time prior to this, I am told, when Michael’s hair was even falling out in clumps as a result of the “chemotherapy.”
So now we all know that so much of this was not real… but was I personally sucked in?
It was a two year academy award worthy performance as far as I am concerned.
I never met one person including any doctor, who expressed doubt about Michael’s claims during the two years of this very public farce (or in fact, in the years before that.)
It is amazing how quick some are to comment now… but I guess that is just human nature, as is the premature way in which some lay blame, post blogs or comment in a self serving and self righteous way.
But with Michael’s short confession now readily available, can I say to anyone who doesn’t understand why someone would do so much to hurt and betray so many, that it all makes no sense to me either.
But will it affect my faith in Christ, the power of His Word, and the truth about His heart to save, heal and transform the lives of people?
Will it discourage me from believing in people, and desiring to see them flourish? Or will it stop me from giving people opportunities in the future?
Do I believe the result of this will be catastrophic for the cause of Christ
in our nation?
Definitely Not. I believe that quite the opposite can be true.
Should it cause us all to ‘look honestly at ourselves and endeavour not to
let anything like this happen again?
Yes it should.
Do I feel an empathy with anyone who is feeling angry, confused or betrayed?
Yes I do.
Ultimately only one person really knows what was going on in Michael Guglielmucci’s heart and head… and that is Michael himself.
The scriptures say,
Galatians 6:1 – “Brothers, if someone is caught in a sin, you who are spiritual should restore him gently but watch yourself, or you also may be tempted.”
This is a very sad situation but I pray it will spur you to be even more committed to ‘fighting the good fight of faith’ and leading an over comers life.
To live a lifetime in the service of Christ, you will have to make a decision that NO disappointment with an individual or with people generally, can sway you away from that course.
I pray for every person who has been hurt or confused by Michael and I challenge you to… “Having done all, still stand”.
Remember, there are many, many genuine people out there serving God faithfully, and setting an example of faithfulness and tenacity.”