Monday, May 31, 2010

All Things Becoming New

A few years ago in church, our youth director was delivering the message. Unbeknownst to us all, he recruited one of the youth to let him talk about her as a sermon illustration. "Let me tell you about B", he began, "She is intelligent, funny, interesting, fat, loyal, caring, trustworthy and well liked." There was a collective gasp from the audience at the middle of that sentence, and he continued. "What do you remember that I said about B? The thing that stayed with you was the only negative word I mentioned." B is far from fat, she is beautiful and petite, but it was an eye-opening example of how we let negative words carry much more weight than positive ones. And it has stayed with me for years.

As I have slogged through ten months of this journey with grief, the letting go and getting on with life is becoming a little easier. But the hardest part to shake? Some of the negative words I said to D are the ones that seem to dominate my thoughts. Goodness knows in a seven year battle with cancer, there are going to be times of impatience, frustration, and all-out Crazy at times. I'm sure we are all capable of that in marriage without the impending threat of a terminal disease.

I try to remind myself that I am human ("My heart and my flesh many times will fail, BUT God is the strength of my heart..."Psalm 73:26), but that doesn't seem to stop the invasion of finger-pointing guilt that would like to take permanent residency in my memories.

I think that some of this was stirred up this weekend when I finished cleaning the last crooks and crannies of D's things. I probably won't come across any more unexpected reminders of him in forgotten boxes and corners. But I want my memories of him to be the good ones; the best ones.  

I guess the world would suggest therapy coupled with a 12-step program, followed by meditation and careful journaling. I'm sure all of that combined would work. I'm also sure it makes me tired to even think about doing all that.

Sometimes the best solutions are the easiest solutions. Do you remember the scenes in "Raiders of the Lost Ark" when there was swashbuckling fight scene after scene? Toward the middle of the movie, Indiana Jones had just about had it, when a large guy with a swinging sword approached, spoiling for a fight to the finish. Indy just shot him.

We do work out many of our problems in life with fear and trembling. And sometimes? We just simply say, "No more". And we move on.

I'm just getting back to the basics of life.  (Kind of reminds me a song about Lukenbach, Texas with Waylon, and Willie and the boys. And why does Willie Nelson cutting his braids make worldwide news? But I digress.)

One of the first and most profound truths I ever learned was "Jesus loves me this I know, for the Bible tells me so." I don't wrestle with that; I simply believe it.

The second truth? "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness." (I John 1:9) I confess; He forgives and cleanses. 

I wasn't perfect in the marathon through cancer. I am not perfect. I never will be perfect. But there is a prize in the enduring to the end. It is called forgiveness, cleansing, and newness of life.

Let it be.

1 comment:

Lynn said...

Amen! Sometimes we jut say 'no more'. As another who walked the terminal cancer road with my spouse I have been in the same place. BUT you are right we are not perfect but Jesus is and He provides forgiveness. I am so thankful we simply need to confess and believe without all the trappings of what the world would tell us.

Thanks for the update on Willie I hadn't heard he cut his braids - earth shattering news to be sure:o)!