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Shot Of The Day


Cancer sucks. There just isn’t a much more graceful way to say it. I’m in a season with three girlfriends fighting with grace and courage against the big C. It’s a foreign land where inhabitants remember fondly every bad hair day they ever had because a bad hair day beats a no-hair-day hands down. It’s a culture where appetite is a luxury, taste buds don’t work and balance teeters, sometimes exiting stage left so that vertigo can enter stage right. Chemo brain is real and makes the forgetfulness of pregnancy and menopause comparable to the interruption of an eye blink. Every conversation brings a new sensitivity to the visitor because we don’t notice the arrogance in our universal language. The haughty assumption of time is knit into the “when” of our sentence structure. “I thought I was going to die when….” “So, what are you going to do when…” “When he graduates are you going to…” Shocking how much we assume about the “when” of life, isn’t it? We talk like we have as many tomorrows as we desire. Act like this is preparation for more. And while it is, it’s also the precious now. The ticking now. The fleeting now. The now gift drenched with opportunity. One of my very favorite moments in the last few months was when my friend Rebecca leaned across the table at P.F. Changs, looked me square in the eye and said with gusto, “and the ironic thing is Kat, if you got hit by a truck tomorrow, I’d be going to YOUR funeral.” The combination of sobriety and humor conflated inside me and made me suck all of the air out of the booth where we sat. York Peppermint Patties have nothing on sober truth. It can stop the world on its axis. Pause the din of white noise. Set you free. I absolutely love this woman. I’m learning as I tiptoe into this most precious place with my friends, that cancer is a land where few feel comfortable visiting. I don’t mean stopping by. I mean really VISITING. Staying a while. Being wholly present. Being comfortable without the crutch of small talk. Sitting in the wetness of now and letting GOD drench the time. That’s what happened October 28th when five us went to the beach for the night and decided to let ourselves be refreshed by whatever GOD had planned. Wrapped in scarves that mimicked hair, we decided to stop and pray. To thank God for life and for friendship and for grace. A woman passing by our prayer circle gently interrupted… “I heard the word Jesus as I passed. My name is Elizabeth. I am a miracle. I had cancer too. Can I praise with you?” And on we went, praising God, now for Elizabeth and her health and the miracle of her presence at the moment we were encouraging Alma in her fight against the big C. All during our prayer, the warm waves washed up and around our ankles. Dragging stuff out to sea that we didn’t want to carry home. Reminding us that we aren’t alone. It was… well… amazing [such an inadequate word really]. After hugging our new friend Elizabeth, we asked her to capture us running on the beach [left side of image]. Looking away from the waves back at Elizabeth, we didn’t notice the next gush of water coming. It was bigger than the rest. Forceful. Deliberate. Not to be ignored. It nearly knocked us off our feet. Drenched us. Left us breathless with its power. [right side of image]. GOD was knocking our socks off with his might. Making sure we got the point. Woke up completely. Nobody was thinking about chemo brain or “when.” Our praise was merged with his presence and all the air we could hold was sucked into our lungs and laughter was expelled. We were wholly present delighting in the gift of now. I don’t know who has cancer in your life, or some horrific wilderness disease or event. But I know this, they need you to be willing to take a risk and to be unafraid to get drenched in the time you spent together. “The irony is,” God uses times like these to bring our theoretical tomorrow into the breath taking sobriety of the gift of now. Don’t wait! Get wet.

Posted: 9 November 2012