I’ll bet with all the memes and jokes about 2020, you are surprised that I’ve found something worth celebrating this year. But I have! I’ve actually found many things worthy of celebrating and writing about.
Today I had a great report from a cancer screening test and I couldn’t wait to celebrate by taking a long, long walk. It felt so good to swing my arms and stride along. I had not been aware of being anxious, but apparently I was. The relief made me feel lighter than air. I had asked for my health to be protected, knowing that is not always how things work. Good health is not the ultimate sign of God’s approval, and he even works his purpose through the death of his most loved persons. I guess when you have the intelligence to create life, to restore and make anything brand new, and when you plan to eventually resurrect all who’ve died anyway, you think a bit differently about death in general. Nevertheless, I admit that I struggle to keep God’s perspective in mind at times. And I particularly don’t like cancer.
For me, there is no better way to celebrate than to move, to see, to experience the natural world. I could give you the short story – it was a beautiful day and I saw a deer and two snakes. Or I could show you with my pictures, which I love to do. August is the last month of summer. Everything here in the north is maturing and getting ready to die or go dormant in a very few weeks. The colors are different, the grasses and flowers are going to seed. You can feel the progression of life cycles that are expertly designed to show us things about God, if we will look, and think about what we see.
If you put away thoughts of COVID19, politics, natural disasters, and riots, I’ll bet you can find something to celebrate in 2020 too. I’d love to hear about it.
“What is that?” She said it several times, as we tried to tell her it was the ceiling fan that she was looking at.
She had been at home for two days since being admitted into hospice care, and really hadn’t said anything coherent for longer than that. The pain in her head had been overwhelming and made it hard to talk. Even thinking seemed to hurt her. But now her eyes were wide open and she was looking up from her bed and asking what she was seeing. And clearly it wasn’t the ceiling fan.
“Wow, oh wow!” Over and over, with awe and surprise she said it in a way that made us wish she would say more. “Oh, my gosh!” This she said not with fear or dread but with an expression that she would have used for an unbelievable sunset or some other one-of-a-kind experience.
It had been excruciating watching her, such a beautiful, generous, loving person, go through the agony of cancer treatment. Even worse, when the treatment stopped working and the pain increased, along with uncontrollable and incapacitating symptoms, we wondered how God would explain why it was happening this way. All along, we kind of knew God wouldn’t explain but would just say that he knew and he was there. It was hard, mostly because we always think we can understand. We’re reasonable people.
At last she had seen something and it occurred to me that she was now much closer to understanding than any of the rest of us. She was seeing something that took away fear, and seemed to give her peace. Maybe what she saw made all the pain make sense, or at least made it worth going through. She seemed thankful, and at rest.
And now, I’m very curious. And I’m thankful and more convinced than ever that God will prove himself good.
I can’t remember if I’ve posted this before, but since I’ve been thinking about God a lot lately, now is a good time. We are having hard happenings in our family. Cancer has struck again and the loss hurts. But our faith is meant for times like this and we don’t grieve like those who have no hope.
Things I Love About God
1. He makes his own decisions, is not anyone’s puppet or genie.
2. Ultimately, no one spoils his plan. No one.
3. He is pure genius in so many ways – his creation of time, for instance.
4. He is love, and made me capable of loving.
5. He made me with emotions. I can know pleasure, joy and also loneliness, depression and need.
6. He gives me hope that he can fill every need I’m capable of feeling.
7. Restoring is his passion.
8. He lets us have surprises.
9. He is mysterious and has secrets.
10. He makes me think, unless I am too tired and then he just loves me.