Saturday, September 17, 2011

And So It Goes

"Why, God? Why? How, God? How do You watch so many people die every second around Your world? How do You continually watch what we humans do to Your earth day after day? If I were you, God, I would have stopped all this a long time ago! How do You do it, God? Why do You do it, God?"

And the Spirit answers, "Because there's far more good and beauty and life than you realize."

And I'm sure God, in His Infinite Wisdom, must surely be right. A real conversation I had this morning with God. But only after...

He woke me up this morning in a good mood after a good night's sleep and I had "blessings" on my brain. Steven Curtis Chapman's song "God Is God and I Am Not"  was also playing in my head and today had all the earmarks of being a great day from start to finish! God had me pumped, primed, and ready! I was filled with great expectation, anticipation, and I just knew my hopes were going to be fulfilled in unexpected ways!

It's not even noon and God has already taken me on a roller coaster ride. I have never, ever liked roller coasters. I hate the mere sight of them. I cannot stand riding them. Need I say that I'm not a happy camper right now? I'm a sad-beyond-words camper. This is just not what I thought God was preparing me for.

"Not what I thought" are the key words. God knew what He was doing all along and He can handle my heart, which is broken. He has handled it before and He will surely handle it again before I leave this earth and then He'll never have to handle my broken heart again.

I have been a melanoma patient, stage 3b since July 2008. I write and administrate the Facebook page Melanoma Prayer Center. I'm a Methodist pastor. I wing my way through cyberspace daily visiting fellow melanoma warriors. Some even welcome me into their lives and hearts. I become well-acquainted with their trials (literally "trials"...melanoma trial treatments) and the trials of their lives. I hear their stories. I become their friend. They become loved and admired by me. They come in both genders, all ages and races, various faiths, various family structures. We have in common that we are people, of faith, with melanoma.

It gets tough when they die. It hurts. This past month and a half or so has been particularly painful. First Eric, then Rick, followed by Ryan. And now, Kitty. I found out about Kitty's death just this morning...after...after God woke me up expecting blessing! After God deeply planted "God is God" in my brain.  I knew Eric, Rick, and Ryan through their devoted wives. I knew Kitty through herself.

She was one of my cheerleaders and I was one of hers through this miracle of the Internet. Our paths only crossed through cyberspace. One day, a glorious day, they will cross in Heaven's space.

And so it goes. Life and death. Life comes first and life has the final say. Kitty has gone from life to Life. She has been blessed beyond measure! She fought the fight and she fought dang hard! They all did! And many more still do! She ran her race and she ran it right through Heaven's pearly gates. She won!

Why? Because God is God and I am not. I can only see in part the picture He's painting.

And so it goes. He's still painting my picture and if I look at the canvas, I see Kitty has a place on it! So does Eric and Rick and Ryan. So does Linda and Christina and Rich and Chelsea! So do more than I can name and the list keeps growing. They are on my canvas for all eternity and I am on theirs.

And so it goes. Life.

Maybe God knew what He was doing after all when He woke me up with "blessing" on my brain! He just had to remind me, again, what true blessings are.

And so it goes!

And I am grateful!

watch a video of Steven Curtis Chapman's "God is God"