It's not what you get it's what you give.
I was lying in bed that night thinking about why a young man has to get cancer and trying to get the answers but as usual nothing came to mind. It is so hard to make sense of some of the things that happen to us and the people we care about. The dynamics of it all. When you are young you always think or even blurt out something like they were old so it was time. Is this true? The older I get the more and more I realize this isn't the case. We are still the same person the older we get just a little worn. Parts begin to break down and at times our bodies like to attack us for no good reason. I know for me as a Christian the simple answer is because of the garden and Adam and Eve making a wrong choice but why the heck do we all have to pay for their stupidity? Sin, that's why, I guess. It is is what it is. It isn't worth arguing about, it just is. The earth is plagued with it and it seems worse and worse as the years pass. I don't know the answer to all of it but I sure wish I did.
It's not what you get it's what you give.
As I laid there last night worrying about Mike I also thought to myself about the bitter fact that when someone gets sick it affects so many people. The ripple effect. Mike's in the middle, the start of the ripple, and all around him are the people who love him suffering right along. Watching my husband suffering as his brother, best friend, and right hand man is ill. I thought about that and how love has a way of ripping your heart out of your chest and at times there isn't much you can do about it except hurt. But then, just as the sadness was there the light was also shinning so bright. The light of love. Love from those around you and from those with whom you would never expect a thing from. My sister in laws mother who battled lung cancer talking to Mike and his wife. The friend from church who has battled lung cancer and has taken the time to reach out even when her pain is still so raw from her cancer journey. The people at work ready to step up and help Rich to fill in the gap of Mike's absence. Means so much to Rich. The goodness that surrounds you that you don't know is there until something bad happens. We all must use what happens to us to make the world a better place and so many people do. Thankful! I must admit just when something happens to make me never want to leave the house again God once again takes the reins and shows me the goodness. I begin to look back on the bad experiences I may have had out in the world and it sort of makes me giggle. Stupid people driving and whipping me off? Seriously? My brother in law has cancer, and I hate to say it, but the sinner in me yelled asshole to the driver. Sinner! Yup! I'm at the front of the line on that one. I always say when I meet the Lord I am going to ask him why would you want me here? I am one of the worst sinners of all. Then I remember oh ya the cross. It's pretty cut and dry for a Christian the hard part is living it without becoming one of them, the guy who whipped me off, or me the one who called him an asshole and me who wanted to go follow him and give him a piece of my mind. I lay my body at the cross and ask for the forgiveness I surely do not deserve. Pretty sure I'll do it again and again and again.
I thought about chronic illness and how this all intertwines. I began to think about the worst diagnosis ever, cancer, and how everyone goes into save mode. It's like the person diagnosed is dead before anything has even been discussed. Curious to me but it is human nature. I thought about the chronic illness diagnosis and how we hide it because we know people are going to say things like, oh you have arthritis welcome to the club we all do its part of aging and the other stupid comments people make. I believe we must learn to put ourselves in the place of the ill no matter what they are suffering from. Compassion. Empathy. Chronic illness doesn't carry a death sentence to most people so why do they care? Cancer, now that is a different story. It is so sad because I know of people right now who are fighting for their lives because of autoimmune diseases. How can we look down on that suffering as being in a different category? I struggle with this everyday as I pull farther and farther away from people because they don't want to hear it. Sad but true.
In the end it is not about illness it is about people. Cancer, autoimmune, heart disease, or any other diseases people are dealing with that might be attacking their body. We must love, care, and give. Give out a piece of our heart as those are doing right now for Mike in his time of need. It doesn't have to be much it can be a thought, a prayer, a meal, a gift card, a listening ear or should I say an understanding ear,not a judging ear. Whatever it is you have to give just give it. People will be touched by your outpouring of love and who knows it might help them make sense of what is happening to them as they struggle and I can guarantee you will learn something too. Like I always say, you cannot help everyone but you can help someone. Believe in someone. The lonely. The old. The suffering. Why else are we here?