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It’s Not Fair

It was an ordinary moment.

You see, the triggers are often hidden in those ordinary moments. We were riding home from a weekend adventure. My mind was wandering aimlessly, contentendly among a variety of thoughts, not stopping for too long on any one subject but peacefully roaming along a number of different lines of thinking. It had been a good weekend and we had savored the moments. I was confident of that. The landmine came very unexpectedly.

I was thinking of my good friend who was to be induced into labor the next day. She was to deliver her third child and my mind began to speculate on the excitement and anticipation she must be feeling on this day. This joyful anticipation of going into the hospital with rounded belly, and coming home with arms full of joy, love, sweet baby smell and perfect baby feet. Meeting this child she had carried for nine months and beginning the process of discovering all the amazing facets to this new little soul, this brand new creation of the Master Artist.

And without warning my mind flitted to comparison, to what I anticipated from time in the hospital this week. I too was anticipating a long hospital visit, but there was no joy in my anticipation, for I was to prepare my body for another battle with cancer. I would enter with belly full of disease, belly not bursting with life ready to unfold, but with dead and dying tissues – necrosis they call it. I would leave with arms empty, and my body holding a little less life-giving blood.

Wasn’t it just yesterday that we were eagerly anticipating our Anna? That I was dreaming of our time in the hospital with her, our first meeting – face to face? That I was fantasizing about showing her off to family and friends who came to see us in that happy maternity ward? How did this happen? How did I skip that part? How did I get here again?

The tears burst through, despite my attempt to hold back the tide. I didn’t want to add memories of a crying mommy onto the end of a fun weekend full of happy family memories; I didn’t want that for my boys. Oh, I let them see me cry from time to time. I want them to know it’s perfectly ok to cry out to God, to let Him see your emotion, to feel those emotions and still come away knowing you trust Him. But not today, let’s end this day on a high note. Just today.

Brian: “What’s wrong?”

“I just got to thinking about K, I just got to thinking about their baby, about how they are going to the hospital tomorrow and coming home with a baby; and I am going to the hospital this week because I have cancer all over my body. ” Keep in mind this sentence took several seconds to get out, as I was crying heavily. Bless his heart for piecing it together.

“It’s just not fair. Oh, Brian, it’s just not fair.”

A pause, tears flowing, body shaking, mind grasping for solid ground through this earthquake of emotion…

He held my hand and quietly said all there was to say. I’m sure I had just torn open a fresh scar for him, made him feel a pain he had only recently managed to bury. How selfish of me but how very much impossible to avoid. For he said: “No, it’s not fair.”

And then a sudden stillness. A sudden sensation of arms wrapped strong around me, a rush of whispered, unintelligible but calming words. 

“I know this feeling too. Let’s talk about unfair.”

It was a whisper, the Still, Small Voice.

Understand it was not sarcastic, not condemning, not angry. Just sympathizing truth.

My Jesus, brutally beaten, bleeding, exhausted, gasping for air, because of my sin. Because of your sin. Because of every human who has lived or who will ever live’s sin. Think of every dispicable, evil act ever perpetrated on this earth. He carried it all on his back.

He drank the full cup of God’s wrath. God’s WRATH: THE. FULL. CUP.

This man, who was Perfect Love. This man who was sinless, blameless, perfect. This man who healed, cast out, raised, fed, created, loved. This man who laughed with children and welcomed them on His lap.

This man was brutally tortured, spit upon, murdered – so I can share in His inheritance. So I do not have to suffer the consequences of my unending selfishness.

And I whine about “unfair.”  

Let’s talk about unfair, my sweet one.

Oh, my Jesus, my loving God,
     Surely your patience and your love for me is unfathomable. Be deaf to them: these selfish words of complaint; for I do not want your perfect, loving ears to hear them. I want only to sing praise, to sing my gratitude. Let that be all that you hear. Not because it is sin for me to bring my hurt to you, but because it is not what you deserve. It is not what my heart of hearts longs to bring to you. I want to pour my life out in gratitude, and gratitude alone, to you.                                                              In the Name of Jesus, Amen

“For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses… Hebrews 4:15

God took an ordinary moment, and infused an extraordinary truth: “It’s not fair.”  He knows this feeling too. 

 Warning: This is graphic.

 

 

Sara Walker

 

 




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A New To-Do List

The to-do list

Wait, that may deserve bold type:

The To-Do List

If you are a list maker, you get me. You get that if the thrill of making a to-do list is surpassed by anything, it is only surpassed by the thrill of

Marking Something Off the List.

Word. Some of you are feelin’ me. Am I right? Yep, your head’s nodding too.

BC (before cancer), the productivity of any day was directly proportional to the number of items marked off a to-do list. Therefore, by the Law of Inverse Something or Other, a day was not productive at all if nothing was scratched off the to-do list. 

So when I started my experiment, I had a dilemma. A serious one. I was leaving my days wide open for God, and though there was more satisfaction in that than I can put into words, my own to-do lists were gathering dust. Items on those lists were being eliminated at a frighteningly slow rate of speed. I know, I KNOW, that my priorites are much closer to where they should be now than they used to be. But old ways of thought die hard, and I couldn’t fully escape this sense of being “unproductive.”

Finally, one day it hit me. I mean it hit me like a ton of bricks. Duh, Sara, duh. All you need to do is come up with a to-do list that you can actually do. A list that matches your new priorities. 

So here’s my new list:

 

That’s it. Not rocket science, I know. As I face any decision during the day about how to spend my time, I see if it fits one or more of these items. As I lay down every night, I think through my day and determine how many of those items I could cross off for that day. I freely admit I rarely complete my list. (But if I could easily cross off the whole list each day, then it wasn’t a real to-do list, was it, list keepers? 🙂 Yeah, you know what I’m talking about. There’s got to be a challenge.)

In case you are wondering, “Train the warriors” is of course about raising my boys. I have just decided in recent months that I wanted to become a little more focused in this regard, and using the phrase “train the warriors” helps me to remember the seriousness and importance of my goal in parenting them. We don’t just want to raise them to be generally well-adjusted members of society. We want to raise them to be courageous men who fight on the Lord’s side at all times while they pass through this life as strangers and aliens.

Oh, I still have the other kinds of lists, but to be honest I only look at them a few times a week. They no longer control me and they no longer get to dictate whether or not I have been “productive.”

So, here’s an example of how this helps me:

A few weeks ago I planned to run an afternoon errand with the boys – taking some items back to Sears. For some reason that day, I thought of a shut-in that we hadn’t visited in quite awhile. I didn’t know why she came to mind that day, so I decided maybe we needed to go see her. (See my last post.) I also know that I want to train my boys to have a Godly love and respect for the elderly, especially their spiritual elders. So I figured out this activity fell into both #1 and #4 on my list, and I decided to abandon my other to-do list item of making returns. That sweet lady died just one week later, and I am eternally thankful God prompted me to go and visit her just one last time. My mom was running errands the other day in Cool Springs and was able to make my Sears return for me quite easily. Thank you, God, for helping me make the right choice that day.

I give you this example not to be boastful, but just to encourage you that though I get it wrong most times, when I do manage to get it right, God makes everything else work out. 

So for my list-making friends: if you are thinking about trying “the experiment” but balk at the idea of abandoning the to-do list, I humbly recommend that you try making a new one. One like this one that can be added to the top of your other lists. Yours probably won’t look like mine. Many of you may come up with better ones. I’d love to hear if you try it, and I’d love to hear one or two items you think of that I should think about adding to mine. It’s a work in progress. I hope that I am constantly learning more about how to walk in God’s paths; constantly being transformed closer to the image of Christ.

Just a few of my thoughts for today, friends. May God richly bless you this day with a greater sense of His abiding presence. I can’t think of any better blessing He could give. Unless Jesus were to come back. That’d be just fine by me…

Sara Walker




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