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Thursday, March 24, 2022

Of This Life And The Next

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
our Friend.

Have a good laugh, with Sylvia and the Village People. In The Navy! 



  1. I always appreciate your perspective, Andrew. I have found with a lot of smaller things that the fear can sometimes be worse than if the thing I fear actually happens. I guess God provides what we need for the moment and fear is often running ahead of that and worrying about what might happen. I love that you are able to stay positive and even to find joy in the midst of all that you're suffering.

    1. Lesley, thank you for this, and I think you're exactly right. God provides for the moment; fear runs ahead of him.

  2. I appreciate your testimony, Andrew, "I can touch the preciousness in each day. God is with me, in spirit and truth, through it all. It's a different quality of experience. Earth 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."

    1. Lisa, thank you so much for this affirmation...and for being here.

  3. Yes, I too was drawn by that 'different quality of experience', something to ponder, thank you. x

    1. Fiona, I am so glad this resonates with you, the different quality of experience!

  4. Spring sings,
    Birds sing your morning song
    Praising Him to whom we belong.
    Wind, blow the seeds. (Holy Spirit_
    Loam, provide their needs. ( Plant the Gospel seed)
    Clouds water the flowers. (God calls the heart to repentance)
    It’s time for God’s showers."

  5. It is amazing how difficult days can so make us appreciate the preciousness of each day. I so agree. May our souls take in the sights and smells of spring and may hope fill us as we keep our eyes on Him!

    1. Joanne, absolutely...it is amazing that trials can serve to soften our hearts to the blessings around us.

  6. Thank you for this! I so can relate, not at all to the depth of understanding but yes, the benefits and expectations of heaven far exceed the curse and pain of earth. And yes, I would raise my hand. I am afraid of snakes. I have stories!

  7. Since my time with cancer, I find every day a bonus day, and I thank God as I greet the dawn. Yes, you write so eloquently of this, Andrew. Even in your suffering, you feel the richer, deeper joy. Thank you.

    1. Karen, I love the way you put this, every day is a bonus day. Yes!

  8. You were my best lecturer in Texas tech and nice to know you have followed such a part.... Tadiodi

    1. Tad, thank you so much. You are in my and Barb's hearts, with love and gratitude.

  9. Andrew what a blessed message. I always appreciate your words. Blessings.

    1. Paula, I am so grateful for this loving affirmation! I'm still unable to get to your posts, maybe because I am working from a phone. I will keep trying!

  10. Replies
    1. My dear Norma, thank you so very, very much.

  11. (((((Andrew)))))

    Thank you!

    Annie in Texas