Ice and faith and all of us

BlogHer Original Post

We had an ice storm here a few nights ago. In the morning all the trees and power wires were encased in ice, shimmering in the early light of day. We've all seen this moment -- the moment when danger and destruction masquerade as beauty. But a trick of light and a wish in the mind turns our senses into liars as we gasp and smile at the gnarled, icy fingers of death. If the temperature does not rise, these branches will snap and break, never to leaf again. But we don't let the scene read out as perilous.

The sun will come again, we think, as it always has. All will be well.

My friend MJ has fought off breast cancer three times now. Her life and the life of her husband and three children for the past 10 years has been one of treatments, remissions, surgeries, recurrences and on and on. The past two years have been great. We have all breathed easier, as the doctors declared her "cancer free" for what we hoped was the last time they needed to.

But now she has yet another recurrence to fight.

Tonight I struggle to imagine her family, smiling the way they did the last time we had dinner together - laughing and passing plates around the table. They are frozen in a glittering ice snapshot. And we don't know if the sun will come.

I tell her that we will help her win this fight, too, and she agrees with me -- but I hear the weariness in her voice, and in her husband's voice.

We are all faithful people, and we cast our prayers heavenward, asking for MJ's health and wellness. Faith is what has sustained that family. They pray together each night that God's will be done, and pray for the strength to accept whatever that will may be.

I am not sure I have that much understanding. When I had cancer (20+ years ago) I whined like a wounded pup at God's door, begging for the chance, that for reasons beyond my understanding I was actually given.

Why am I telling you all this? Why do I open the door to strangers that leads this deeply into my heart? Because I want you to love MJ the way we do - and to ask God, or the Universe or the Higher Power or Allah or All that is Good to help her and her family.

I tell you this because sometimes Religion and Spirituality means looking over to the person next to you and wishing them the peace that passes all understanding -- whether you know them or not. Sometimes it means standing back from the ice with someone, helping them see both the beauty and peril without fear.

Sometimes that is all that this world needs, for us to share strength with each other -- to share stories with each other. To share hope.

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