#48 A Medley Of Human Empathy

Photo by Nick Key Photography 

But it hit, for him, out of nowhere.

A healthy life, a wife, a little daughter, ministry, work.  God had always provided but this was nothing like the former.  It was the ordinary and unthinkable: cancer.  And over a matter of weeks a world that was common and nurturing plummeted into groggy confusion.  Normal disappeared.  It was just survival: shaking, feverish, cold.  But though life felt remote, heaven did not appear.  That escape seemed to brush reality with weightless fingers and then disappear into isolation.  For life did not remove disease and neither did disease remove life.

And that was what suffocated: the isolation.  No one could really comprehend the pain of it, the reality of being lost in lifelessness but still, oddly, alive.  Misunderstanding hit, maybe, harder than disease.  Explaining it was like trying to describe a dream where why and how and what were loosely dangling from everywhere but general comprehension.

There was also the experience of trying to fit a conversation about a life unmade but not hopeless within the tiny box called small talk.  They would ask how he was.  But the few seconds of “Hello, how are you?” weren’t enough to tell the truth and a white lie seemed conventionally non-transparent.  It caused him to feel other than himself.  It was tough to be truly honest in those situations.  You’d run the risk of sounding totally depressed on one hand or trite on the other.  And he was neither.

But there were those thousands of pieces, placed with divine intention, into life and into disease, just the same.

That was the beautiful thing.  People were influence for the heart of God, which is presence.  It was a real “with us” kind of emergence.  The un-shattering and unification of interconnected humanity.  There were tiny bits of God darting in through a reality of living compassion and kindness, each an easy passageway into rampant grace.  As each person embodied the real, the Real arose.  It was Jehovah shooting alive through lips and acts and living bodies.

Though the Father did, in the end, give health – this wasn’t the care that really struck.  A Provider was named and the name was “He Sees Me.”[1]  And his eyes were, somehow, human and many.

And, though she’d always been there, a woman emerged as rock.  She was embodying the vows of marriage even as he did – in cancer and in clarity, sickness and health.  The essential combining of the couple emerged in ways that had been, before, unseen.  The practicality – the behind the scenes of cancer – was cared for with loving kindness.  He was survivor, and she managed it all – the keeper of order, of life.  God was seen, through her dedication, as Destroyer of Chaos.

And a small girl emerged.  This was the joy!  The shining and small, curly haired toddler was his and she knew nothing other than true, glistening life.  Death and sorrow and pleasurelessness were not found within her own youth.  And so the beauty of child-like and beautiful ignorance danced to a beat different than pain and isolation.  She was a bright gift from the Immortal to temporal.  From Daddy to daddy the blessing was daughter.  And her laughter made life brilliant within the shadowed lair of cancer.  The Spirit of God glowed warm.

The impossible began to take place.  In a way, the wholeness was always there – the fragments were always together.  The pieces of kindness and understanding, laughter and practicality fit together into the shape of God.  The God who sees! The God who could be seen through created image working out his kindness.  Piece by piece the shattered leapt up and lived!  It became bright, a medley of human empathy beating out the presence of God.

[1] Genesis 16:13; El-roi

A Million God Stories is a Christ-centered ministry which offers a platform for Christians from all streams of Christian faith to give praise for how God has worked in their lives. Christ heals in infinitely creative ways and we acknowledge that His way of helping may differ from person to person.

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