It's going downhill faster now; more pain, and I can barely walk, and sometimes can barely move without weeping.
I didn't think I'd get this far - and nor did my doctor - but there's a reason, and here it is, to the best of my reckoning.
Pancreatic cancer has taken much, but it's brought a gift, that hardest Grace.
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace.
God, the pain is offered to You, to use as You will.
Where there is hatred, let me bring love.
Love is what binds us together, and refines the unbearable as a lens for Your Heart.
Where there is offense, let me bring pardon.
I can't hold grudges any more. Let it go.
Where there is discord, let me bring union.
Our differences are so small in the face of enormous fears, and far greater Graces.
Where there is error, let me bring truth.
The truth is that we have to live for one another and for God, as He died for us. That's the deal.
Where there is doubt, let me bring faith.
We really can walk through the darkest nights with only a single candle of faith. Just walk with me; I'll hold your hand, and I won't let go.
Where there is despair, let me bring hope.
Despair can never win, if we take the hands outstretched to us, and extend ours to others, in hope. Our linked hands are a bridge across the abyss.
Where there is darkness, let me bring your light.
Always wanted to be a lighthouse. Barb loves 'em.
Where there is sadness, let me bring joy.
Sadness IS, in the deepest pit, the darkest valley, but there is joy in living for our friends, and for our greatest Friend.
O Master, let me not seek as much
to be consoled as to console,
I am failing, and things fall apart, but I will reach out and dry your tears, as mine have been dried.
to be understood as to understand,
From the edge of life, I can look back and see that good intentions did not pave the road to hell, but smoothed the road to Heaven.
to be loved as to love,
And my heart is breaking with the love that bursts out, for love is all we carry to the Throne of Grace.
for it is in giving that one receives,
It was never about what I could accomplish, but about holding the lamp for others, in love.
it is in self-forgetting that one finds,
My legacy is myself, poured out as libation, and holding nothing back.
it is in pardoning that one is pardoned,
I ask the forgiveness of those I have hated, and the pardon of those who wronged me, for in my anger I brought out their worst.
it is in dying that one is raised to eternal life.
I am ready.
I'll bet you expected to hear a musical setting for St. Francis' Prayer...and I originally planned to have one here...but, you know, it's really time to rock out.
So here's Honest Men, by ELO Part 2, led by Bev Bevan, and including members of the original Electric Light Orchestra after that signature band went dormant. Bevan got permission from Jeff Lynne to carry on, and I think you'll agree...they preserved the sound and spirit!
Please pardon my slow response to comments. I do my best, and your comments are really precious to me. Barb is answering many of them now. I'm running on fumes, if you don't mind a macho metaphor.
I'm grateful for the energy to have written this. I'm so glad Barbara's stepped in for many of my posts. I'm really not doing well at all.
Thanks to Carol Ashby, Blessed Are The Pure Of Heart is back on Kindle, and will be available in paperback soon.
Friends are everything. I couldn't have done it.
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.