On Friday the worldwide sport icon Muhammad Ali died due to complications from Parkinson’s disease. I spent an entire weekend seeing video after video showing the all too painfully familiar Parkinson’s “mask” of Ali’s face, his inability to talk even though his mind was sharp, the shaking, the quaking, the difficulty walking and the sheer fatigue of a disease I knew all to well and grew to loathe. I was incensed once again by the way diseases, like Parkinson’s, steal and slowly destroy human vitality. I hate it! I saw the same, long slide of suffering that Ali endured up close and personal in my mom. Both of them were incredibly vital human beings who had their bodies stolen from them.
Ali, as we all know, was an incredible athlete of incredible intelligence and grit. I grew up admiring his boxing, his stand for his faith, and the way he matched wits with Howard Cosell. It’s a crime that Parkinson’s stole all of that away from him, slowly deleting his physical prowess, over the last 30 years. My mom, as hardly anyone knows, was also an incredible athlete who studied ballet in New York city. I grew up admiring her energy, her love for others, her smarts, and the fight she endured against a debilitating disease. Hate isn’t too strong word, when I say that I hate Parkinson’s disease and what it can do to people!
It makes me long not only for a cure for Parkinsons, but also for the day when Jesus will shout from His throne in heaven; “behold I am making all things new!” Revelation 21:5