Confession

We have believed, and yet you have helped our unbelief. I confess at times I have accused You of sleeping in the boat while the wind and the waves raged around us, but I know deep in my heart that You do not slumber or sleep. You have been ever watchful, ever mindful, and ever good. Thank You, Father, for keeping us in faith.

~ from a father's Prayer for the Last Day of Chemotherapy for his young son

Here I sit, a cab drive away from the hospital, safe in a warm, dry Wi-Fi hotspot. Procrastinating. I should be hustling to write a paper that is overdue for the class I took an incomplete in this past semester. But cancer crowds out all productive, academic thought. Cancer brings you to your knees, in your heart. Makes you face your mortality. Makes you confront the idea that you really cannot take care of anything, you can make no promises, you can persevere through nothing. Your endurance, strength, pride, will-power: all diminished to a meaningless, futile and hostile flurry in your breast, the ill-begotten striving of a powerless, prideful creature who has no say in the whirl of the universe that surrounds and encompasses. This cancer that grows within is a force with which I cannot reckon. It could rob me of my most priceless years, watching these children grow, shepherding their hearts and healing their hurts. Yet what it robs from me is pride. It forces me to realize that it is God who fills them, shepherds them, heals them. Not I. It forces me to realize that perhaps God has more for me to do from heaven than he ever intended me to do on earth.

So I bow, internally, in this crowded beehive of humanity, maintaining my 3-foot distance. Protecting people from the poison that boils up and exudes from me this day. Pray. Confess. That I, too, have accused Him of sleeping in the boat while the wind and waves rage about us. I understand, deeper today as ever when I am cloistered for these scans, that He may be silent; He may be invisible; He may not answer yes. But He is here, for He has promised (He who can promise) I will never leave you, nor forsake you. (Joshua 1:5)