Time for Five Minute Friday, hosted by Kate Motaung. It's that cool invitation to write for five minutes - by the clock - on a keyword. (And we're also linked to Wedded Wednesday, The Weekend Brew, and Testimony Tuesday.)
Today's word is WORLD.
A terminal prognosis for your mate opens up a whole new world...not necessarily one you wanted...and brings sunset to an old one.
It's OK to mourn the life you've lost, looking into a future that's likely filled with doctor visits and medicine schedules. It doesn't sound like fun, and it's not.
There can be changes in attitude that make the process seem more like a beginning than an end.
I'll explain this from my point of view, rather than trying to put it in the third person. In the comments, let me know what you think of that, OK?
I see life in more vivid colors now. Yesterday and today (June 10 and 11, 2015) were two of the most painful I've experienced, and I just didn't know how to cope. It was kind of like being cut in half, just below the ribs, while having a coronary.
Worse than being shot in the back.
Worse than being hit with a golf ball, full force from twenty yards, right in the balls.
Worse than going over a jump on a horse, losing my seat, and landing on the pommel.
I have to carefully work and move and even talk around the pain, with a sort of exaggerated care that's not only physical, it's also spiritual.
This pain is a sort of epiphany. It makes me want to be a better, and kinder person. It makes me want to love on a higher plane.
It's so bad right now that there's no energy for a Why Me, nothing to spare for anger or resentment.
And I just want to be the best version of myself. Not because I feel I might die tonight (that's not impossible).
It's because I want to live.
I see life in more vivid colors.
The color of death, and the color of life.
The color of mercy
The color of forgiveness.
The color of Grace.
Oh Andrew! Your words get me every time. Thank you for sharing your story with us. This illness and dying do indeed open up s new world for you. I pray that you are able to live each day as it comes. And when he calls your name, that you go to a new world where "mourning and dying and pain will be no more."ReplyDelete
Thank you, Tara...circumstances do lead me to appreciate each day for what it is, and when He does call my name...be kind of nice.Delete
I wonder if He'll have a bit of trouble with the pronunciation?
I echo everything Tara said. You share your life with grace and dignity. You open up this experience to us and show us that anything can be endured with Jesus. Bless you, brother. Bless you.ReplyDelete
Thanks, Marie...your words remind me of a line from a poem by James Elroy Flecker..."And God shall make thy soul a Glass where eighteen thousand aeons pass, And thou shalt see the gleaming Worlds as men see dew upon the grass."Delete
I hope that's true!
Andrew- This is stunning. You drew me in at the beginning and moved me with your words. And pain is an epiphany. I never thought about that before, but there is so much truth in it. These words packs the punch: "This pain is a sort of epiphany. It makes me want to be a better, and kinder person. It makes me want to love on a higher plane." Beautiful, beautiful piece. Thanks for sharing your life and your gift here.ReplyDelete
Thank you, Karen. It is a truly unexpected part of the journey, but on realizing it, at least in this situation, now, it does seem fitting, and the stuff of which one should witness.Delete
Andrew, thank you for sharing so openly about your pain. It is the thing that brings so much else into sharper focus and I love how you describe it as seeing life in different colors. May you be blessed with less pain in His presence today.ReplyDelete
Thanks, Holly. He is always with me, and He carries me through some rought hours.Delete
I follow the links from your encouragement on my blog over here, and find this: you encouraging when you have every right to sit back and just demand encouragement. I know that death is part of the curse, a thing Christ has reversed, ultimately, for us. But oh, it does show up the color of Grace, doesn't it, as nothing else could! Thank you for sharing!ReplyDelete
Thank you! Encouragement is like Grace...you've got to pass it along. It's never meant to be hoarded.Delete
This is a great write Andrew, the perspective we look at everything from can make a world of difference in our lives.ReplyDelete
I am glad for the way you see it and the choices you have made.
Thank you so much, Ugochi. Thank you for being here; your presence means a lot to me.Delete
Beautiful imagery, linking vivid colors into living life. Prayers for you this week, Andrew!ReplyDelete
Thanks, Annie! Tennyson said something like this...by prayer is the whole world bound 'round the feet of God, with golden chains. He said it better than I just did - it's in the last poem (The Death of Arthur) in The Idylls of the King.Delete
you really got me with your wit! (and I had to check to make sure I hadn't actually misspelled "dear")
I don't know if I am reading you correctly, but it seems you are using humor in your pain. If so, then let me tell you, you really got me! I was shocked by the world "balls". (did you really say that?!) So then when you continued on that vein with the saddle pommel, I was done for. Not to laugh at the fact that you are in pain, but just because there is nothing you can do, you choose to describe it in the most vivid terms possible.
You may not know, but God is using you.
In a fiery furnace, you are walking around with Jesus, and you are not singed. You don't smell like smoke. Your fragrance is a pleasant offering not only to God, but to those of us witnessing your fire.
You are bringing Joy to the World, Andrew. And that is praiseworthy indeed.
Love from FMF and beyond,
Yep, I said it. Humor is a good antidote...and yes, some things are just funny. Like the time a few weeks ago when I mangled half my left hand, and was about to take a shower. My wife (who has to help my in and out) suggested I check the temperature...so I stuck in the wounded hand.Delete
Oops. But it had the qualities of absurdity and irony mixed, and it was really very funny.
I love the image of the furnace, Tammy. Thank you for that, and for your warmth, faith, and kindness.
Argh, Blogger drives me nuts. I had this long comment typed out and it was erased. Sigh.ReplyDelete
What I said was that I so appreciate your transparency here, Andrew. Pain and knowing the time stamp on your days has a way of bringing everything into sharp focus. And this line: "And I just want to be the best version of myself." I think you're living it. Each word of life that you share here and in others' comments speak encouragement and grace. You are such an example of living well. I am continually inspired by how you're walking out your days.
I so wish I could take your pain away, but since I can't, I will continue to bring you before the One who can strengthen you and fill you with His grace. Praying, my friend.
Blogger's driving me a bit nuts, too. With the new ISP, sometimes I enter a comment, and the computer shuts off, with what it calls an 'unrecoverable hardware error'.Delete
I really appreciate your comments; I do try to live well, and to spread the joy that's really a part - a large part - of every day.
It would be nice to lose the pain, but as long as I'm given the strength to go on, how can I complain? :)
'that I might die tonight. It's not impossible'... oh this catches me. What can we say to this? Just thank you for being here again, bringing peaceful and honest and true words. My words fail me. I've just typed and deleted, typed and deleted, and the only thing that remains is 'thank you'. And 'thank you Lord, for giving us Andrew and his words. It's such a gift.' So there it is. Thank you.ReplyDelete
Ruth, your words were perfect, and warmed my heart. Their grace, and the grace of your presence here, supports me, and guides both my steps, and the direction and purpose of my heart.Delete
Yes, thank you Andrew for sharing your heart; for sharing your pain...for in your words you ARE sharing your pain with your readers. And in turn you share your words for US as encouragement; yet, we, in turn share encouragement and prayers with you.ReplyDelete
These words were specifically glaring at me:
"The color of death, and the color of life.
The color of mercy
The color of forgiveness.
The color of Grace."
Love this..."The Color of Grace"!! Thank you once again; prayers continue!
Thank you, Barbara...shared pain, but also the transcendence that they bring to life, and the clarity they bring to my relationship with the Almighty.Delete
\I so appreciate the prayers! I feel them around me, even on a day like this, the hardest of days.
I'm learning much from your sharing, Andrew. Is this working for you? And how 'bout your wife?ReplyDelete
Praying for you both even as we speak ...
It's working. It calls me to be all I can be...it's the place of honor to which God has escorted me, and where He expects me to stay.Delete
He's given us the tools; we will do the job.
Thank you so much for the prayers!
I love how you can still be encouraging even in the midst of such pain and grief. Love the idea of seeing life in vivid colors. How many of us live life in the dullness, never fully appreciating each day and the beauty it brings - even when that day is difficult. Prayers for you and your family.ReplyDelete
Kathryn, thank you so much. I always try to remember the story of a meeting between Renoir and Matisse, when the young Matisse went to visit his friend's studio.Delete
Renoir was crippled by rheumatoid arthritis, and had to clamp a brush into his swollen and stiff fingers. Matisse was greatly troubled, and said,"Master! Why must you punish yourself so?"
Renoir smiled at his young friend, and said,"The pain passes, Matisse. But the beauty remains."
Andrew, I appreciate how you open your life up to us, sharing the hardest moments, the most painful moments of your life. Seeing life through more vivid color….it's almost as if illness, death and dying opens our eyes up to see heaven, more vividly and more colorful. Thank you so much for sharing.ReplyDelete
Exactly right. At this place, the edge of the grave, we're on the cusp, and it's a choice - a daily one - to lift eyes and hands and heart to heaven.Delete
Andrew, you're inspiring me to be the best version of me. And I'm not dealing with death or pain, but I don't want to wait until then. Your pain and your life has a purpose, and it so inspires me that you seem to know that. I appreciate your transparency, and I'm inspired by your example. Grace to you today. Praying for you now.ReplyDelete
Betsy, your words mean more than I can say, and they've caused me to tear up a bit, writing this.Delete
Yes, there's a purpose. I would not change a thing. I'll take the fall, to be in this place of honour.
Woah! What beauty is coming from your heart as you near death's door, Andrew. I just love this post and I can't wait to read your other posts that follow-up more of your journey. Thank you, dear friend, for opening wide your heart for all of us to see at this very painful (in many, many ways) time in your life. My prayers are with you constantly!ReplyDelete
Beth, thank you so much for your kind, lovely words, and for the prayers. Things have gotten a bit worse since I wrote this, as you know...and in spite of the inconvenience of passing out from blood loss from time to time as I write, I would not change a word.Delete
New World. I know a glimpse of that in a total different area. When I discovered I'd be dealing with infertility. Mourning. Loss. Death. I felt it all. And to this day, I don't let my mind wander over there ... because it's hopeless and .... But God. The suffering you endure ... it breaks my heart. You have helped me endure suffering of my own, of a different kind. And I thank you.ReplyDelete