Wednesday, August 12, 2009

12,000 Hours

According to one of the newspapers today the average woman will spend 12,000 hours, the equivalent of one year and four months of their lives, crying.

I guess that makes me not average! I feel like I have notched up a goodly number of hours of the last six months or so in tears on a fairly regular basis. Does it make a difference too if those tears are gentle weeping that you can mop up with the back of your hand, or the overflowing dam of body wrenching sobbing? The way I have cried recently doesn’t qualify as anything less than a monsoon!

I was talking this morning with a friend, trying not to catalogue all the sad details of Mike’s cancer. She already knew about my sister, Linda and all the heartache of her loss, but she wanted to know so that she could know what to pray for.

As well as myself, my mother and my eldest sister are the only others in the family that enjoy a vibrant relationship with God. I am not sure how well they have weathered the storms of the past six months. There are been no shipwrecks, but a few masts have fallen, and a sail or two has got ripped. It has not been a comfortable ride.

Neither my mum, nor my sister, has had the chance to go out and see Mike and I am not sure if that is a good thing or a bad one. Sometimes what we imagine turns out to be a lot worse than reality.

For my mum it’s not an option. She is not well enough to travel and I think that seeing Mike the way he is would bring back some very painful memories. My dad died of a very similar kind of cancer. For my sister, it is a choice not to go. She thinks that she would cry too much and upset Mike. She doesn’t think she could handle it. Personally I think we are always a lot stronger than we imagine ourselves to be.

Anyway, at the end of talking all these things through with my friend, she reached over and gently touched my arm.

“You do know,” she said, “that God loves you very much.”

I have to confess that I bit my tongue hard. Words would have spilled out!

If this…nightmare…this six month stalking by disease and death is about God loving me…what would it all look like if God didn’t?

OK I know that all this stuff is not happening because God loves me! It’s happening because I live in a fallen world…because these kind of things just happen…because…I don’t really know why it’s happening.

What would it look like without God’s love? I would feel very alone, completely broken up inside, hopeless and helpless.

As it is there are times when He graciously blows away the clouds and the sun shines!

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