Monday, July 12, 2010

A plaque that hangs on one of our walls reads, "Life is fragile, handle with prayer."
Everywhere I turn I am reminded of just how fragile it is.
My husband seems fragile to me; frail really, which is a word that I usually reserve for the elderly. His body was strong not too long ago. It was strong as it was flung off his motorcycle and into the side of the car that suddenly was in his path. Now it is so frail that he fell yesterday. He was attempting to stand without calling for help. It didn't work.
Today found me in New York spending some time with my very fragile niece. My heart aches for her.
Everything about her seems so fragile. Her arms would look fine if they belonged to a child; her face seems so tiny to me; even her hair is a reminder of the battle she's been waging with a terrible enemy. Her tears are weak, broken by a small catch or sob that seems to barely escape through her lips.
She spent this past fifteen months or so fighting valiantly and thinking she had won. The enemy was silent and clandestine in its work only reappearing after it had secured new footholds in multiple places in this precious woman's body.
Sara is weary, weak, confused and in mourning. She doesn't know where she will find the strength to face this new battle. She doesn't understand why or how this happened. She did everything she was suppose to do.
She mourns her future, a future that is so tenuous and frail; she doesn't envision having the children she had hoped to welcome into her world; and what about her career as a teacher that she has loved?
So many questions, so much pain, so much sorrow, so much confusion.
If we do not come to the place where we recognize our own frailty and powerlessness, we are deceived and will lose more than a battle.
When we get to the place where we admit how frail we are and life is; how weak we are; how needy we are, well, that is the place where we can find what we need.
Strength in weakness, healing in the midst of pain and grief. All of this and more is found in God alone. Does this mean that physical healing always comes? That relationships are always made whole? No, but to be sure the relationship that does develop is one that makes all the pain and sorrow worth it! The spiritual healing that is available to us holds eternal value.
I am powerless to heal my loved ones and powerless to strengthen them. But as I admit this fact, His strength comes pouring into and through me to them.
I was reading E R McManus' book "Wide Awake" as I made my way home via the ferryboat. A question formed in my heart. How alive am I willing to be? To be really alive is to open myself up to all life has and that includes pain and sorrow.
Is it worth it? Yes, but I believe it only works with Christ. In Him I find hope and a promised future. He promises to personally wipe away all my tears when I see Him face-to-face!
Life isn't easy, but it is worthwhile, especially when we live it with the Creator of all life.
These are some of the things my niece and I talked about today.
Writer Anne Lamont commented in her book, "Bird by Bird", that "We are given a shot at dancing with or at least clapping along with, the absurdity of life, instead of being squashed by it over and over again. It's like singing on a boat during a terrible storm at sea. You can't stop the raging storm, but singing (or dancing) can change the hearts and spirits of the people (including ourselves) who are together on that ship." (my words in parentheses)
This takes living in the now. Taking life as it comes and not allowing ourselves to be cheated out of life in the present because of what will be or might be around the next corner.
I choose to dance and maybe add a song or two along the way. Care to join me?

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