She replied, "Do you really want to keep suffering?"
Hers was not a rhetorical question. If faces a deep truth. (There's the FMF word, Yay!)
There's enough Scriptural counsel to embrace suffering, to take up one's Cross, and to count it all joy (in your face, Joel Osteen!), but you do get the feeling, that, well, gosh...maybe enough's enough?
Maybe it's OK to be tired of the whole thing, the pain and the unsteadiness and the fatigue and the ever-present need for cleaning supplies and fresh laundry.
Maybe it's OK for a loving caregiver to long for the end of witnessed agony, and I'm using that term deliberately...because a lot of this is agony. I've known lacerations and impalement and burns and broken bones and serious acute illness, and I know that this is far, far worse.
But on the other hand...
There is joy here, like stars winking on as clouds move across a dark and stormy sky. And the strange and unexpected thing is that the joy does not come from a temporary diminution of pain...the pain's a necessary foil, the shadow that defines the light.
For example, I exercise. Every guide to cancer I have ever read says, Exercise to the best of your ability...it'll help you fight the disease.
So I do. Not much, a pathetic shadow of what I once could do, and I lie on the ground crying after every 'workout'...but there is joy there, in knowing that I made it through one more session. There is that small accomplishment. It's a routine that an unfit twelve-year-old would disdain, but it's mine.
And I do it.
And I write. Today I am writing ahead for Five Minute Friday, because it is not certain that I will be able to respond to the keyword when it's revealed, and it IS certain that my response, if it comes, will not be timely. (The word is Truth. It's in here somewhere.)
No matter. One does what one can, and when this post is done...hours from now...it will be done. I will trace the spasms of pain in the lines I write, and see small triumph there...that moment, that flow of words was when I overcame this.
Shadow defining light.
And why bother with this temporal light? Why not just go to the Light?
Because this is something worth sharing. By having my future curtailed I have learned to value and treasure every minute...not for what I can do, but for its own sake.
Because of the coming separation - temporary - from those I love, I have learned to love with a full heart, overlooking the things that give normal life so much friction.
And because I have been asked why I trust a God that has allowed this crucible of pain and despair, I've been forced to examine my faith, and in the flames it has been tempered, and has come out hard and sharp and true.
They say God's Word never returns void.
Neither do our words, if we care - and dare - to submit them to His Will.
One day we will live in the Light; its joy and grace will need no shadows for definition, and we will drink it, breathe it, live it.
But for now, the Light of God's Will working in us is defined by the shadows of hurt, so that those around us can see His Glory.
The musical theme is courtesy Carly Simon...yeah, you guessed it. Let The River Run. Enjoy!
Still hoping to get the new and improved version of Blessed Are The Pure Of Heart up and running in the near future. Just haven't had the energy to do it yet...but if you would like to read it, please say so in your comment and I'd be glad to send you a PDF (which should fit your Kindle).
Marley update... been moved to a sanctuary, and Bay County will revise their 'dangerous dog' codes.
If you can, please do leave a comment. I am trying to answer all, and I am failing, but please know this - I read and treasure each one.
Below are my recent releases on Kindle -please excuse their presence in the body of the blog. I haven't the energy to get them up as 'buttons' in the sidebar. You can click on the covers to go to the Amazon links.