My heart is heavy. I kind of get that statement right now. I've known how to correctly use it and in the right context. But I feel it. My heart feels soggy and heavy and rather listless.
Our extended family is - I guess - on vigil now. One of the favorite uncles suffered a life threatening intestinal blockage recently. It was touch and go but he's a tough nut and he fought his way through it. Once past the crisis, I'm sure I wasn't the only one that thought, "He's a tough one - of course he came through it!" Even a few days later when the diagnosis of cancer came, I'm pretty sure most of us thought, ok, he will have a rough battle but he'll come through. Even as the battle became a worse struggle, many of us just knew he'd persevere.
We are all preparing for the most likely outcome. None of us are ruling out a last minute miracle from God. Although, I will confess that I am having trouble praying in faith for that miracle. My fearless confident type of prayer starts to wane as reality takes us closer to what I don't want. I'm human. So sue me.
I have fitful sleep. I wake often and all I can do is pray when I do. It feels so...not enough-ish. I often start wondering how my aunt and cousins are all handling this. It's one of those many times in life I want to DO something. Something tangible, physical, real - to help. I know prayer is much more powerful that we know. But being a physical being, I want to move my limbs and affect some kind of relief for my hurting loved ones. Gah.
So there's that.
On a more peripheral front, Andrew, a pastor from my former Boston church, died early this morning. He was young, with a strong young wife and two beautiful little children. He and his wife are both pastors at my former church. His wife was the kind of children's ministry leader that knew the names of every mom that dropped her kids off. And this was a big church. I was always astounded when Val would greet me by name after I had only been going there for a few months.
I kept in the loop through two church friends, L & J, who were close friends with them but lived down here. Again, because of his youth and his faith, I just KNEW the cancer wouldn't take him. But the reports grew more and more discouraging. And the inevitable news came today as I worked.
Again, all I can do is pray for his family and loved ones.
Lastly, I called a long-time Boston friend of mine to sing a wacky happy birthday to her. Fortunately, she picked up and I didn't have to be a total spaz into her voice mail. We had a long wonderful talk. During our talk, she told me she was diagnosed with thyroid cancer two weeks ago. She's a nurse, so I take heart when she said, "If you're gonna get cancer, this is the kind you want to get." Duly noted. If they ask me, I will request thyroid cancer. She is young. That counts in her favor. She had just put a bid on a house the day before her diagnosis came in. When she tearfully asked her doctor what she should do about the house bid, he said, "Buy your house!"
I don't pretend to know why God allows good people to die and bad people to prosper. I fight off the stupid thoughts like, did I just not have enough FAITH when I prayed??? As if I have anything to do with God working his miracles. At the ripe old age of 44 and a half, I can finally say I have read the WHOLE bible. And since it's fresh in my mind, there is a part of me that has a bigger picture. I get that we cannot see God's plan. We can't see his all-encompassing view. These long waits on Earth to join our loved ones that have already passed are blips in his timing. I also know that not every illness is a judgment. Death is not to be feared. But the human me that IS trapped in a physical body, that DOES have to live in time, that misses people - that me has trouble with these events.
But I won't stop praying. And it doesn't derail my faith. I don't doubt God. As I told him the other night, I just wish he'd let me in on it. He will. Someday he'll tell us all how it was and we'll all be like, "OOOOOOOoooooh. So THAT'S how it was!!!"
One thing that really made me smile today was this thought: Today? Andrew got to meet Jesus face to face. Face to FACE, man. Now THAT is something to celebrate.