Remember, our message is not about ourselves; we're proclaiming Jesus Christ, the Master. All we are is messengers, errand runners from Jesus for you. It started when God said, "Light up the darkness!" and our lives filled up with light as we saw and understood God in the face of Christ, all bright and beautiful. If you only look at us, you might well miss the brightness. We carry this precious Message around in the unadorned clay pots of our ordinary lives. That's to prevent anyone from confusing God's incomparable power with us. As it is, there's not much chance of that. You know for yourselves that we're not much to look at. We've been surrounded and battered by troubles, but we're not demoralized; we're not sure what to do, but we know that God knows what to do; we've been spiritually terrorized, but God hasn't left our side; we've been thrown down, but we haven't broken. ~ II Corinthians 4:5-12 (Message)

We woke up to a slow, cold February rain. In Wisconsin, rain in February is invariably accompanied by sleet-driving winds and icy driveways. I woke up expecting sun, or snow, or at worst, a gray wind. Rain wasn't in my plans. Nor my childrens...magically, they awake to every day as if it were a surprise to be discovered. No plans to be lived up to, or destroyed.

Raindrops on the windows, freezing before they ran the length of the pane. A new experience for the youngest of the three girls. She was in a state of awe, tracing their tracks down the windowpanes and gleefully waking her sisters at first light to share the bliss of a rainstorm in February.

Cancer is my rain in February. Unexpected, it raises the stakes. I feel as though I am thoroughly entrenched in my adult mindset, looking out on a dreary day with fatigue and hopelessness and disappointment. Cancer is a ride down a path I didn't see coming, a fork in the road that I would rather not take. To my children, it is an endless myriad of discovery as we explore the depths of God's grace and plumb the well of His eternal kindness. I looked at the rain today with fresh eyes, and cancer with it. An allegory is so much easier to grasp than real life.