Last night I was undone...weepy and worried and starving for spiritual nourishment as well as physical provision. For some reason I found I could not focus on my Bible Study reading...or maybe I didn't want to. I went to the basement in the dark and quiet and turned on a small light and just started flipping through some books I had gathered for a project I'm developing...hoping to coerce my mind and emotions to drift to other things. I paged through the first book, "The Ragamuffin Gospel" by Brennan Manning, and my eye was drawn to a paragraph with faded yellow highlighter...a passage that must have grabbed my attention at some other time in some other place. This is what I read:
"You may be insecure, inadequate, mistaken, or potbellied. Death, Panic, Depression and Disillusionment may be near you. But you are not just that. You are accepted. Never confuse your perception of yourself with the mystery that you are really accepted."
It broke me.
Here's the thing...Death...Panic...Depression...Disillusionment...this is where I am. They are not just near. They have taken over. Up until now, death had mercifully taken a back seat to panic, depression and disillusionment, my ever present companions in this season of need that my family is struggling to navigate. However, this past week, my dearest friend here in Indiana, a friend of my heart, found a spot on her lung. We laughed about it as she prepared for her CT scan, joking about our matching nodules. (I have had a non-progressing nodule on my lung for three years.) Last Friday night our families gathered to enjoy dinner together, have wine and good conversation. My sweet friend had just received "the call". Her CT scan had shown her nodule is 1.5 cm. and her surrounding lymph nodes are swollen...this is cause for concern. So, this Friday I will be driving her home from her lung biopsy. It will be a long week. As will the weekend as we wait to hear the results. Selfishly, so selfishly, I want her to be whole...because selfishly, so selfishly, I am afraid I can not bear to lose her. I feel I can't bear another thing.
I thank God for my reminder from Brennan Manning that I am not just these things that are consuming me and eating away at my peace and security. It is a mystery but I am more. I need these tokens...these promptings because I can't see it...if I am more, I can't see it. So, I cling to these mementos of God's grace written by a stranger's hand.