It isn’t every day that while driving home from work, you hear a story on the public radio station about a local pastor, but it isn’t good news when the headline is “Inner-city activist battles cancer.” Still, it says something. Loudly. Jamie Arpin-Ricci has blogged about this in more detail, but in a nutshell,

Well known minister and outspoken activist Harry Lehotsky, who has spent years fighting drugs, crime and disrepair in Winnipeg’s West End neighbourhood, now has another struggle ahead of him, this one for his life.

Lehotsky was diagnosed Monday with pancreatic cancer, which has spread to his liver, spleen and other organs. He says his doctors have told him his cancer is inoperable and have given him six weeks to nine months to live.

“Oh, man, you think, ‘Why me?’ and then the next thing you think is, ‘Why not me? What makes me different from anybody else?’ There’s mothers and fathers, daughters and sons that die of cancer and so many other things. I mean, we’re all finite. So I think about that,” he told CBC News on Tuesday.

“If God chooses to do a miracle, that’d be awesome and I’d be very pleased and thankful. If not, what I’ve been living for my whole life is just the ability to meet Him one day and for Him to say, ‘Well done, good and faithful servant.'”

I don’t really know Harry, but I don’t think he’s is big on the emerging church one way or another and I don’t think he pays much attention to the larger questions of postmodernity. I do know he pays a lot of attention to his community… to the point where in the community he serves, the news of his illness comes as a shock, with ripples of sadness spreading in the community even among those who don’t attend his church or know him that well. Enough so that it’s a leading news story in the local media. Now that’s missional living.

Jamie’s post has more links about Harry and the ministry he’s done in the inner city (Jamie’s neighbourhood), and I echo Jamie’s request for prayer… for Harry, for his family, and for his community.

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