On Ravi And His Cancer

What are my thoughts on Ravi’s health right now? Let’s plunge into the Deeper Waters and find out.

Years ago when my apologetics journey began, The Case for Christ was the book that lit my fire. Shortly after, I commented about seeing The Case for Faith while in a bookstore with a friend and he surprised me by buying it for me. In that book, I learned about a man named Ravi Zacharias and something about him just stuck out with me. It might have been his gripping story of overcoming suicide. I don’t know. From that point on, I proceeded to buy everything I could by Ravi. His style of writing just intrigued me. I never missed an episode of his podcast, Let My People Think.

One Christmas, my Dad asked me what I would like for Christmas. It was an unusual request, but I said I would like to get to meet Ravi. Any Dad out there that’s a good one knows when a kid asks something like that, you go and do everything you can to make it happen, and that April my Dad and I drove to Atlanta together. (Interestingly, that’s where I live now and I have tried getting employed at RZIM as well)

When we got there, I also got to meet Paul Copan who I think was just starting out his major career at the time. Before too long, Ravi came and I got to go into his office. He was going to give me all of his books, but I already had them. Instead, he gave me several CDs of his show. They are still here in our apartment.

Whenever I got the chance to meet Ravi, I often took it. The last time was a real surprise. My wife and I went to a church he was speaking at. Allie had insisted I grow a beard since the last time I had seen him and when we went up to meet him with everyone else in a line, when my turn came up I greeted him and he didn’t seem to know me. Then I realized it was the beard and after awhile he looked up with a sudden shock, “Nick? Is that you?”

It’s good to be remembered.

My wife showed me the picture of him this past week with him and his wife on their 48th anniversary. This time, it was me who didn’t recognize him at first. It required a second look from me. The silver-haired apologist I had known for years looked radically different. I could hardly believe my eyes.

Ravi’s daughter has put out a statement concerning Ravi’s health. It looks like unless a miracle occurs then Ravi’s not going to beat the cancer and time is very limited and we’ll have to see what the future holds for RZIM. It’s really something to think that a man who has spoken so often on college campuses about suffering and evil is now before the world going through a great trial of suffering and evil.

So what can you say at such a time? Nothing really. No words of mine can make the cancer go away. Nothing I say can make Ravi’s family have immediate joy. They have great sorrow now and they should. Scripture doesn’t tell us to bring immediate joy to those who mourn. It tells us to mourn with those who mourn. We often treat sadness and sorrow like they’re diseases here. They’re really just part of the human spectrum of experiences.

Should we pray for healing? Yes. God can still do what He wants to do, but if He chooses to not heal, that is what He does and that is what is best ultimately. If He decides that now is the time, then now is the time and we will be grateful for the time we were given.

The greatest joy I think we could do for Ravi is to remember that he was part of a wave of apologists that are now passing away, the next generation rising up needs to be ready to face the challenge. The great honor we could do then is to continue his ministry.

As I close this blog then, I think about this item I have on the wall here. It was a gift given to me on my wedding day. My seminary president had emailed Ravi to tell him the news. The president had the email redone in a style of calligraphy and presented it to me. It is framed and hanging on my wall. I apologize for the glare in the picture, but it was a wonderful wedding gift from Ravi.

Thank you for your ministry my friend. Here’s to your health. May a generation of apologists rise up to defend the faith that you love so much.

In Christ,
Nick Peters