Thursday, May 18, 2006
May 18, 2006 - With New Eyes
Today I came across this prayer (or maybe it’s a poem?). In any event, it expresses much about how I’m looking at the world these days...
"Living with Cancer"
Thank you for giving me a wake-up call:
to look at the world with new eyes,
to live NOW –
not stuck in the past,
not fretting away for an unknown and unknowable future.
Thank you for giving me the chance to look at life afresh.
I know to trust you and not to worry:
to live fully and value each precious moment,
to cherish each part of your creation,
to seek you in each person I meet,
to live with joy,
which I have too often denied.
Thank you for blessing me.
- Zam Walker Coleman, a member of the Iona Community; from Growing Hope: Daily Readings, Neal Paynter, ed. (Glasgow: Wild Goose Publications, 2006)
“Thank you for blessing me,” writes the poet – a curious thing to say, for someone reflecting on an experience with cancer. What about cancer could possibly be construed as a blessing?
Well, I wouldn’t want to say cancer could ever be a blessing, myself. It’s anything but. Yet, there are certain things that tag along with a serious illness – hitchhikers, as it were – that are certainly worth the occasional, whispered prayer of thanksgiving. Like the wake-up call of which the poet speaks: that sharpened perception of the things that are most important in life. Or the love and caring of family and friends, shared so generously and profusely. Or the knowledge of self that comes of attacking daily challenges, and mastering them. Or the presence of God, sensed in healing prayers offered by a caring church.
No, cancer’s never a blessing. But God’s presence in the midst of trial and heartache certainly is.
“I am about to do a new thing;
now it springs forth, do you not perceive it?
I will make a way in the wilderness
and rivers in the desert.”
- Isaiah 43:19