Wednesday, April 2, 2014


Every morning, I look for the thoughts on Facebook by Keith Tonkel. Keith is the Senior Pastor at Wells United Methodist Church, in Jackson, MS, and has been there almost forever.

Keith was diagnosed with cancer at the age of 19, while in college, and has continued to wage war against this intruder in his body for years. Keith has been in and out of treatment, over the years, and is about to undergo more radiation and chemo as he again fights the battle.

On April 7, my honey will have been waging war against Multiple Myeloma for 3 1/2 years so I understand the ups and downs, the concerns, the depression, the fatigue, the weakness.  But we're lucky, my honey is in a period of CR (Complete Response or Remission) and is having a respite from treatment.

It's hard not to question "Why?"  Why my honey? Then, I look at someone like Keith Tonkel, a true man of God, and I realize if he can have cancer - anyone can. Surely, in his darkest private moments, he must question God. "Why me, God? I have served you all these years. I'm faithful, I pray, I believe. Why me?"

When I was in high school, I played the organ and/or the piano for my little Methodist Church in the Mississippi delta. This was back in the day when Revivals lasted a week. I remember, one summer, Keith Tonkel came to hold our revival. I was entranced. He was a wonderful speaker back then, even as a student. I wonder if he knew that all the teenage girls had a crush on him? I'm sure that happened, at every church, during every Revival. Somewhere, along the way, he met his wife Pat.  Keith's faith has really been tested, because his wife passed away a couple of years ago. How can one not ask "Why?" 

Maybe the question should be "Why not me?" Why all these Godly people, and not me? Why my honey, and not me? Why? Why? Why?

From his Facebook page, we know that he is blessed to have children and good friends who take care of him. I am amazed that he continues to preach, when he can, at Wells. I am amazed, and thankful, that he continues to share his faith and his thoughts, with us, on Facebook.

Most of all, I'm thankful that Keith Tonkel led a revival, in my little delta church. I'm thankful that God continues to allow him to share his faith with those of us lucky enough to read his page. And I'm thankful that God continues to allow my honey to have another day.