Father Joseph Peek of Atlanta, Georgia, was diagnosed with leukemia shortly before his ordination. His treatment led to serious new health problems. The once-athletic Navy man became weak and vulnerable to infections. Yet he also struggled to prevent his illness from getting the better of him.
Though plagued with open wounds—including those on the soles of his feet—he walked three miles in the “Win the Fight” 5K to raise money for The Winship Cancer Institute at Emery University in Atlanta.
Father Peek also kept ministering to sick people, but now with greater insight. In the past he hadn’t liked going to hospitals, feeling he had nothing to say. “Now,” he says. “I am very comfortable in hospitals, and I have a lot to say.”
Patients are inspired by Father Peek because they know he understands their struggles. And the priest knows that God is present, giving him the strength that in turn inspires them.
But rejoice insofar as you are sharing Christ’s sufferings, so that you may also be glad…when His glory is revealed. (1 Peter 4:13)
Give us strength, Father, whether we are suffering.