Saturday, August 16, 2003

Shadows, Light and Sisters In Prayer

One of my sisters-in-law growls at shadows and chases light trails.

Actually she's not really my sister in law, she's Amy's parents dog, Kasha.

Amy's real sister, Lisa, calls Kasha her sister, because Kasha is sometimes treated to the spoiling pleasures often bestowed upon a surprise child couples have after their first batch of children are fully grown. My in-laws have found love to share with her, and Kasha returns it...most of the time.

Anyway, if Kasha sees a light beam moving across the floor, she will chase it. She stalks them with all the ferocity a Westie can muster. It's quirky behavior. One of those unexpected discoveries about your pet, which you at first exploit for amusement, then try to stop...then ignore or tolerate. Nowadays my in-laws often don't notice Kasha stealthily pursuing light beams, it's simply accepted behavior.

I'm glad shine stalking is part of Kasha's personality. She reminds me that it's okay to pursue sunbeams.

I think we should encourage each other to do that more often, there is light to be seen even in shadows.

Ecclesiastes 8:15
So I commend the enjoyment of life, because nothing is better for a man under the sun than to eat and drink and be glad. Then joy will accompany him in his work all the days of the life God has given him under the sun.

Kelley's mom passed away last night. Gail's death was not unexpected, she had cancer.

We have prayed every Sunday in church for Gail and for Kelley. I pray for them daily including them in my prayers for my sister-in-law Mary Kay who also has cancer. I spoke with Mary Kay today, she's doing well...sounding upbeat. She's completed chemo and radiation. There is more surgery ahead, and then she will wait for no news...and she will continue to pray.

I know Kelley prayed long and hard for a miracle. When Kelley first learned of her mother's prognosis she was devastated and withdrawn, but she prayed. She prayed her mother would be cured. She prayed the cancer wouldn't spread. She prayed her mother would have more time. She prayed a lot of prayers, and her mom died.

In the past months, Kelley has devoted herself to her mother, driving hundreds of miles every weekend, taking time off work during the week. Charting her medications, changing her clothes, feeding her, dealing hands-on with the unpleasantries of helplessness, as well as coping with an onslaught of well meaning friends and relations.

She knew her mom's death was inevitable but she still asked for prayer.

Her mom was 57.

Today I'm thinking about prayer. The nature of it. The disappointment of it.

Why didn't God cure Kelley's mom? I don't know. Were all those prayers worthless? No, they weren't.

Pretty bold fella, care to back that up?

I say those prayers had value and meaning with brazen assuredness.

A couple of weeks ago Kelley and I talked and she said, "You know sometimes I come out of my mother's room after having cared for her, seeing her wasting away and I think, ' How did I get through that?'. I do things I never thought I was capable of doing. I handle situations that, when I think about them, make me break down in tears. I wondered for a while about where the strength was coming from to deal with all this, and then I remembered...prayer."

I will continue to pray for my sister-in-law Mary Kay. I will pray for healing and strength.
I will pray for Kelley and her family, that they may grieve and go on living.

I don't expect God to change reality, I expect Him to change me.

You see, I will remember my sister-in-law Kasha too.

I will not curse the darkness and shadows, I will chase the light.