Posts Tagged ‘suffering



26
Jun
09

Traveling on

Two days ago I went to the city for another lymphoma, maintenance treatment. Being back in that environment, having chemicals dripping into my body to ensure a longer remission is a bit of a catch-22. Takes a few days to recover and about a week to forget about it until the next round. Happily, there will be only two more of them and then I will be a member in good standing of the Full Remission Club. Notice I didn’t say Full Cure Club. There is no real cure for cancer, there is only remission and that allows cancer to be considered a “chronic disease.” (Love that spin..) The war on cancer, begun decades ago by President Nixon, hasn’t been particularly¬† successful…more like a “mission accomplished” hoo-ha. Nevertheless, I am still standing and determined to make the most of whatever time is mine to love, learn, struggle, stumble, laugh, eat, dance, sing, or suffer through.

Suffer? Did someone mention suffering? Hmm, something so near, but not dear to my heart these past many, many months. How does one embrace suffering when it comes as a result of the innocent love of church and friendships? By Grace, that’s how, purely by grace, that mysterious unquantifiable essence of the Spirit of God.

My dear friend, ordinary (mostly) has referred to the struggles and pain in his congregation. I know a great deal about those struggles as they revolved around me and my partner of 32+ years. I will never be a fan of suffering, but I can tell you that the payoff is spiritually transformative and worth it in the end. It’s just the beginning and middle that are problematic. Traveling through difficulties and outright pain is helped enormously by prayer, supplication and plain old hanging on by the finger nails. (Cats do this very well on window screens…)

In bad times I have envisioned being weightless in a dark universe where I am alone, with God beneath me, like a transparent hammock holding me aloft. I have had¬† many dark paths, dark nights, dark days during the struggles in the congregation that I loved. Grace is there like a little flame lighting each step. This year I came to understand that faith is not about strength of character or certainty of outcome, i.e., being sure you will get what you ask for. It is about walking toward God when I don’t see clearly, trusting as best I can (imperfectly) and knowing mother/father God hears me when all I can say is “Help me.”

Jesus, help us live in peace from our blindness set us free.

Fill us with your healing love. Help us live in Unity.

I’m walking the bridge, following the light, and leaving no footprints.




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