“Are you done now?”
This is the question that is thrust at me almost every time I am out and about. A question I’m never quite sure how to answer, because I don’t want to just mercilessly throw back what’s on the tip of my tongue.
“I’m never going to be done.”
Even if I live for 50 more years, I will always be tested and watched and poked and prodded. I am always going to carry the emotional burden of grief, of unfulfilled dreams, of pain and fear. There will be nights when I can’t sleep, days (like today) when my body is weak, and I will struggle with pain that is like the ocean. It comes in waves and it is wider than we can grasp, deeper than we can fathom, and it is always there.
What I am looking forward to though are the days when I will feel like it’s done. Days when I don’t even think about cancer or feel its effects. Weeks when there are no doctor appointments on my schedule.
There is a TV commercial that says, “I have cancer. But cancer doesn’t have me.” I love that. And it’s true. But it doesn’t take away the reality of the effects of cancer. No, cancer doesn’t have me or own me; however, it still lingers in the felt physical pain.
Pain like last night when I woke to the cries of my daughter. I had heard her rustling in her bed and whimpering, and I knew there were dreams circling through her little mind. Then the cries began. Normally, Bri would go get her, knowing how my joints ache from the side effects of medication. He was in DC overnight last night, and I got out of bed to go tend to my sweet one. But I couldn’t walk. Literally. The pain in my knees was so bad I crawled down the stairs to her room.
By the time I reached her the wails had reached a fever pitch. I opened her door and her arms immediately stretched for me over her crib. I grabbed her close, and she clung to me, pudgy arms circling my neck as her sobs immediately stilled. I pressed my cheek to hers and our tears mingled together.
Quiet. Comfort. We had found it in each other, because as I held her, the pain was completely forgotten. I like to call them my God moments. God’s reminder that He is still there, and He still cares.
And I realized the answer to the question, “Are you done?” is the same for all of us.
None of us are done. Not until glory. And when He holds us, then the pain will be completely forgotten forever.
One must learn to walk before one can run. So here. We–or at least I–shall not be able to adore God on the highest occasions if we have learned no habit of doing so on the lowest… Any patch of sunlight in a wood will show you something about the sun which you could never get from reading books on astronomy. These pure and spontaneous pleasures are “patches of Godlight” in the woods of our experience.
(from Letters to Malcolm by C.S. Lewis)
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