Sunny with scattered cloudiness


Then shall the virgin rejoice in the dance, both young men and old together: for I will turn their mourning into joy, and will comfort them, and make them rejoice from their sorrow. Jeremiah 31:13

The unbridled joy of children unleashes my own appetite for joy and beauty. The gleam of sun in golden locks levitated from dancing heads, the shadow and light as they flit through dappled sunlight on a bridge in autumn, the stepping forward and looking backward all at once that is so inherent to life. This week was a week of remembering cancer, viscerally so. Being in the house of cancer again. It is shadow and light changing hands with my view of the world so frequently that they become one, part of the same vista. I can't differentiate the light from the darkness this week. They simply are, and are together.


...a man may be chastened on a bed of pain with constant distress in his bones, so that his very being finds food repulsive and his soul loathes the choicest meal. Job 33:19-20

Thoughts keep going back to reasons. Why, God? Why me? Why her? Why this one, or that? Is my cancer, in my neck, a direct judgment for past sin? I was a liar as a child, a young adult. I'm not talking about white lies, or even smaller lies of the blacker varieties. As an escape and coping tool, I erected elaborate alternate lives, alternate characters for myself, surrounded by imaginary friends. I did so knowing it was wrong. I hurt people, lots of people. Some of whom I still haven't apologized to (believe me, if I tried, it would become my life's work, and I would be living a My Name is Earl existence, where apologies choke out any other meaning or purpose). I stretched my conscience to the max, running against the bounds God placed on my tongue, on my being. I paid no heed to the inevitable backlash that comes when you reach the limit of that stretchy band and are hauled back to the Arms of Grace by the rebound of your own mindful folly. But is that why I have cancer in my throat, adjoining my voicebox? Grace-minded Christians may argue nay. Judgment-minded Christians may argue yay. I know not why God allowed cancer in my neck. But as I turn my mind to these questions again this week, I cannot ignore the physical placement in proximity to the origin of some of my biggest sins.

The Bible is the history of your future. Bob Marley

The history of the ages, told time without number in the sacred text of my Bible, is a story of call and response. For Christians, the call and the response is a beautiful circle of action/reaction that is echoed over and over in small ways and big ways. Your response - my response - either brings you circling back to Christ's feet, or propels you away, against the straining force of the bed of the slingshot. Eventually, straining hard enough, the wayward Christian may produce enough force against that stretchy band of God's grace to be stung severely when it finally releases, or pulled inexorably back to His throne, where repentance will once again be demanded.

In the Gospels the verb "follow", when referring to individuals, expresses the call and response of discipleship. Later...response meant not a repudiation of homes but rather giving Jesus full allegiance. (Walvoord & Zuck's Bible Knowledge Commentary)

The hope that lights the path is this: whatever the consequences on this mortal clod, the story ends happily ever after. The cure for cancer eludes us here because it isn't found here, just as the answer to it's reasons and sources aren't found here in a laboratory or a doctor's office: they reside in heaven, where all might be healed and forever live in glory worshiping God, the Source.

And how pleasant will it be to contemplate and admire the wisdom and power of the great Creator in this so glorious a change, when I shall find a clod of earth, a heap of dust, refined into a celestial purity and brightness! when what was sown in corruption shall be raised in incorruption; what was sown in dishonour, is raised in glory; what was sown in weakness, is raised in power; what was sown a natural body, is raised a spiritual body! when this corruptible shall have put on incorruption, and this mortal, immortality; and death be wholly swallowed up in victory! How aptly then are the fuller manifestations of God, the more glorious display of all his attribute, the larger and more abundant effusions of himself reserved (as the best wine to the last) unto this joyful day!
John Howe, 1836, The Blessedness of the Righteous Opened