Thursday, August 7, 2008

I hate cancer

We had a wonderful morning today - spending time with new friends, enjoying the beautiful Portland mild summer weather and nice parks. Came home to an email that changed the scope of my afternoon.

Our 6-year old daughter, Katie, used to hang out with this darling pack of little girls in Illinois. All 5 of them were born within 6 weeks of each other and the summers were full of birthday parties and girly time together. One of her friends, Sydney, was diagnosed yesterday with a rare and aggresive form of cancer. Seemed to come out of the blue and her family and friends, needless to say, are swirling in an emotional whirlwind.

I intellectually understand the problem of corporate sin in the world and how it has far reaching effects to innocent victims, like Sydney, but when I picture her face, I find it hard to reconcile my emotions with the truth.

And being a mom, I can't hear about Sydney's plight without personalizing it. When her sweet little face pops into my mind's eye, it quickly morphs into the face of my own 6-year old daughter. Grant and Jenna are living out my biggest nightmare - a terminal illness in one of my children or my spouse. My heart is just breaking for their family. For this invasion of innocence. And I'm trying to make sense of it all. Why Sydney and not Katie? Why are Grant and Jenna shouldering this awful burden and not us?

I remember talking to the father of a little girl who passed away well before her time. With tears in his eyes, he told me, "the only reason this pain is bearable is because people like you, who never even met Labri, decided to come along side us and fall in love with our family. You loved her, even though you didn't meet her. And you weep with us in our pain. It's like God has taken the pain of all of this and divided it out among the body of Christ so that I don't suffocate under the weight of it all."

Thank you Lord that you recently whispered the truth from Isaiah 66:13 to me, "As a mother comforts her child, so will I comfort you." As my tears wet this keyboard, God I NEED Your comfort. Please pour out Your peace and compassion on Grant, Jenna, Tyler, Sydney and Cal.

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