We're all feeling a lot of emotions as we process Sarah's diagnosis. When Sarah first called to tell me that she had breast cancer (before we knew it had spread), I held it together pretty well on the phone and then lost it in the last few seconds of our call. Later on that day I wrote a piece called, "Death's Waiting Room", and I wanted to share it with you here on her page. It's just my initial reaction, which may look or sound much different than yours, but I think it's important right now that everyone receives permission to process this sudden news in whatever way they need to.
I reached over the baby gate for the nearest article of clothing; my gray speckled hoodie, and I blew my nose in it. I didn't care. Who cares about Kleenex when the 'what ifs' and the 'God whys' are right on top of you? I let weepy tears cover my face, and I could feel my skin blotching speckled red to go with the speckled gray.
And I wept quietly in the rocking chair, but he noticed. At first, concerned I would upset him, I tried to look brave and calm. But he is a one-year-old child and well acquainted with tears, and I pray every day that he will be like Jesus, a man well acquainted with sorrows. So, I stopped pretending, and let the tears roll.
He reached up for me, little hands on my knees, and I held him to me. He kissed my face once, then twice, and then his kisses spun like wildfire, covering my red splotches with love. He would not stop. And I began to laugh through my tears, and he laughed along with me.
There is room for tears of sorrow and tears of joy, even when they happen simultaneously. I cried those types of tears today, and my son observed this. We shared a new sort of language. As Voltaire once said, "Tears are the silent language of grief."
We're all in Death's waiting room, you know? I'm not sure why I was so surprised by the reminder today, but I was.
I hear the reminders daily, and so do you. You hear them in the news, friends, church, or in your media feeds. You hear the drum of death echoing over the young and the old and it seems so far off and distant most times. Yet, some days, it edges a little bit closer. You become tenderized to the reality of the sacredness of breath, and it hurts, does it not?
And you might wonder, like I did today, what is the point? Where is the beauty? Where is the justice?
Perhaps, your heart whispers or shouts, "God, you are not fair like you say that you are. And you need to make things right. God, you must."
Then maybe kisses come your way too, in some form or another, as they did for me today; the juxtaposition of the hope and the despair.
And all I am left with are the promises that I hold onto and the prayers which I know, because I want to choose hope. I do, I really do.
And so with trembling lips, hands feeling my way through the dark, words like rope, I say,
Glory be to the Father,
and to the Son,
and to the Holy Spirit:
As it was in the beginning,
and ever shall be
world without end