Tuesday, June 5, 2012

My Neighbor's News

As I'm sitting here..... upset over laugh lines and crows feet and baby weight - she's sitting next door with fresh, devastating news. As I sit here and fume over the water my kids splashed into our house today....as I sit here and fret over laundry piling up and toys scattered about - she's sitting over there facing the facts.

I go out to check our garden....and she sees me and she calls my name. I run over and I notice somethings off. With chit chat out of the way - and with tear filled eyes - she looks at the ground and she lets it all spill out right there between driveways...

"I found out I have breast cancer."

My neighbor - she stands there...in her night gown and glasses and slippers just before sunset - and she tells me when her doctor's appointments are and what the specialist say they are going to do.... and I'm just stunned...just devastated.

And then she changes it all around and she says..."So, I've been going to the church across the street."

And she smiles. And lights up a little.


This woman - who has just been given nauseating news? This woman - who has hard days ahead? This woman - who is still shocked? She finds out she has cancer and she heads to the cross? For the first time, perhaps?

I don't know what to make of all this...of this news....of her seeking Him.

I stammer out something unpoetic and ridiculous and I tell her I love her and I run into our house and blurt it all out to my husband.

And my kids, they listen in. And our minds - they all start reeling...thinking of ways to bless her.

A few weeks later, she rings our doorbell and she shuffles into our entryway to update us on her prognosis. Right there - my husband and I lay hands on her. She grabs hold of our wrists and she bows her head low and we pour out a prayer. Tears leak from her and she hugs me tight.

And it all stays with me. (Hurts and breaking hearts and the sufferings of others - they should stay fresh within us. Shouldn't our hearts daily break with theirs? Doesn't this result in continual, earnest, ongoing pleadings to the Lord? Doesn't this spur us to action?)

Some will certainly say that humans run to the divine....to ease the pain of life - to hope in something greater - to pacify our need for a better ending - to make life a bit easier. (I was one of them, remember.)

But as I read the scriptures and I get to know Christ - and I get to know people who trust in Him in the midst and in the aftermath of trauma..... I see how the Spirit beckons them. I see how it isn't their need for an imaginary god - I see how it is their brave response to an existing Lord's calling.

And while I wrestle with the presence of the pain in this world (right next door...and right across the waters) and as I detest the fact that hurt runs rampant on this planet - I do still hope. And I do still believe. (Only because of Him, however. My natural way.... is one of doubt in the midst of sorrow.)

May He shatter our hearts for the hurting - and may He show us what to do about it. And may He reveal to us that He is real and present in it all.

Praying for every precious person that drops by here today - and the pain that may be hanging around your heart this week. May hope and healing be yours, friend.

Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us. - Romans 5:5