I cried myself to sleep last night, a conflicting tune of life and death painfully screetching in my mind and stabbing at my heart.
I've known for perhaps about a year now that the brother of a close high school friend has been going through cancer treatment. Yesterday, another friend texted me to ask, "Did you hear about David's brother?" I had not and told her so. Did I hear about David's brother? "Dead" immediately popped into my mind but I quickly smothered that notion with optimism. Even so, waiting for a reply felt like a thousand unsteady years. Her text finally read, "They sent him home [from the hospital] to be with his family when he passes away." Doctors found more tumors and couldn't stop the bleeding inside his body. Let me emphasize here: cancer is destroying the body of a 20-something-year-old-just-out-of-college-engaged-with-his-whole-life-and-dreams-ahead-of-him man.
I tensed at the thought of his pain but I also breathed a tiny sigh of relief--there's still time. Time to show him I care even if I don't know him well, time to show him how wonderful life can be (perhaps he already knows?). I vowed to find a way to show him love and peace and beauty, anything to inspire him in his [final?] days.
I believe in miracles and I know that if it is God's Will, this man will be healed of the tumors and the bleeding will stop. But what if it is God's Will to let the cancer take over? Suddenly nothing seems important in comparison of this man's life and death. Nothing else seems worthy of my respect or time or thoughts. So where do I draw the line between mourning and respect? How long should I be sad? It feels like I should be sad forever and nothing less would be appropriate or complete. But it then it occurred to me...this is how God is using this man's situation--to show the rest of us foolish people how truly delicate and fleeting and precious life is. As death sits so close that its presence seeps into your body and tears you apart from the inside out, when it's an unwanted guest who refuses to leave or let you forget, it's then when you remember to live--truly, deeply, passionately live--and to say, "I love you", daily.
I pray for him, that God is with him [I know He is]. God, as love, saved our souls...and it's love, you know, that still saves our souls every time.