In my latest reading of This Is Herman Cain, Herman Cain talks about his experience with cancer and the birth of his granddaughter (who, Cain joked, was waiting for him to arrive at the hospital before she was born).
Regarding his experience with cancer, it’s interesting how Cain looked for divine signs that God was with him and that everything would be okay. For example, when a worker at a health center told Herman and his wife Gloria that her name was Grace, Herman and Gloria saw that as a sign. When a surgeon told Herman that he’d make an incision that looked like a “J”, Cain thought about “J” being for “Jesus”. Herman says that “when you are in the ‘Word,’ you can listen and hear when God is speaking to you” (page 96). When Herman mentions on page 96 that he became cancer-free, he asks, “Did it have something to do with the Lord wanting me to survive so that I might help set this great nation of ours on its own path of recovery?”
But Herman also had human help. He could be admitted to a cancer center, for example, because he was friends with T. Boone Pickens. (Now that’s a name I forgot. Remember the oilman who was promoting alternative energy on TV commercials?) Cain also had the support of his wife. When Cain said that his faith was being tested, his wife corrected him by saying that her faith was being tested, too. And nature helped out. For example, part of Cain’s liver was removed due to cancer, but Cain was pleased (and surprised) to learn that “the liver regenerates itself in about three months to 80 percent of original size” (page 99).
It’s interesting that a sophisticated, savvy businessman like Herman Cain could have a faith in God that trusts in everything to turn out all right, especially since there are plenty of people in the world who say that such faith is a sign of naievity and immaturity, and that faith is not applicable to the harsh realities of the real world. While Herman trusts in God, however, he also evaluates situations and takes action, and so he apparently does not deem faith to be an excuse to sit back and do nothing. At the same time, due to his connections and his wealth, there were options that were available to him that probably are not available to some who struggle with cancer, and I find that to be problematic. I think that God supports a just society that benefits and respects the life of all people, not just those with money and connections.
Another point: Now that Cain is out of the Presidential race, I wonder if he looks back at his experience with cancer differently? Does he still believe that God preserved his life so that he could set America straight? And does he believe that God was present with him even when women were making accusations against him during his race for President—-that even that was part of God’s plan?