Tears for the Unanswerable
My cousin has been battling breast cancer since 2001. In the last four years it has spread to her lungs and spine and she has exhausted all pill forms of chemotherapy and hormonal therapy available. It’s time for the “Big Gun” – infusion chemotherapy.
This news hit hard especially since she is worn out from the side effect of the previous therapies, the constant blood tests, x-rays, scans and the intrusion it all makes on trying to live a “normal” life as a woman, homeowner, mother and grandmother.
“I don’t know how long I can do this.”
“I think I’m in the check-out line.”
What do I say?
I want to tell her to keep fighting, to hold on for more therapies are being discovered. That she has grandchildren who need to know their Nana. I want to tell her she has the genes of her mom and aunt – both warriors of the “Big “C”. I want to tell her she is stronger than she thinks and has shown such perseverance and ability to adapt while continuing to be a vital part of her family. She is amazing.
I want to tell her she is not alone in this battle for God is ever present.
But I am not fighting this battle. I am not being destroyed by an insipid demon lurking within my body. I am not experiencing constant pain, exhaustion and malaise that she is.
My words fail me and her. Her words haunt me.
I have no answers. And I so want answers, Lord!
Crying tears of sadness, I reach for my bible, praying, beseeching, and searching for wisdom, insight and peace that I might share with her. I read David’s Psalm of woe and faith. His strength is in his belief in God, knowing without a doubt that God will rescue him and “keep his feet from slipping”. What David cannot do – God can. While suffering, David’s faith allows him to thank God for what He will do and see God holding him, seeing his suffering to the point of collecting his tears and recording them in a book!
It is David’s relationship with God that I covet. And it is that relationship that I wish for my cousin.
For when we know not what the future holds beyond our current pain, we can rest assured that God is present throughout all our moments, collecting our tears, holding our hearts, reaching down from the heavens to hold us close. And like a child who has skinned their knees, we can crawl into the arms of our Father and rest in His love and peace.
You keep track of all my sorrows. You have collected all my tears in your bottle. You have recorded each one in your book. Psalm 56: (NLT)