I was watching Steven Furtik yesterday, and at one point he invited everyone who's afraid of snakes to raise a hand.
Then he said, "OK, now all of you with your hands raised, turn to your neighbour who didn't raise his hand, and ask him how it feels to be stupid."
Before cancer, I was afraid of it. Not so much of dying, because I lived an idiotically risky life, but of the pain, the weariness, the lost future, the shame of things like... sorry... incontinence.
Colour me stupid, but there was no reason for fear. The benefits have so far outweighed everything else!
I can touch the preciousness in each day, now, the clean scent of a fresh spring day, the magic white wonderland of a late snowfall, the songbird who picked up on the neighbour listening to "YMCA"...
And God is with me, in spirit and truth, through it all.
The joy, you see, comes from Him. Yes, there's pain and weariness and all that, but those are of this earth, this life. Temporal, and temporary.
It's not an "eyes fixed on Heaven" thing; it's a different quality of experience. And though the earthly experience still has the ability to hurt, it can't harm unless I allow it. The joy is deeper, richer, and while it doesn't banish the other, it makes what might have been intolerable something which can be borne.
I am where the monsters are,
on mine own blood I choke.
It's all gone a bit to far,
it's beyond a joke,
and I should cower in dismay
in fear of what's ahead,
but somehow on this shattered day
I find something past dread,
for trial has given painful birth
to joy at last unflawed,
to show pain is of fallen earth,
but delight's been born in God,
and from this revelation's sprung
that laughter's Heaven's native tongue.
The Five Minute Friday prompt this week is SPRING, but since I have 'sprung' in the thirteenth line of the sonnet above, I will let it go like that. It says what I needed to say.
Oh, very well, a haiku.
He gave His life at winter's end
that spring might return to life
Have a good laugh, with Sylvia and the Village People. In The Navy!