Sunday, April 28, 2013

The Dance of Life and Death

As a babe at the breast I received nourishment and strength.  From somewhere within ductal walls, by a miraculous biochemistry, liquid golden fluid brought forth a warm flow of life. 

And now, from those same ductal walls, my mother's body has birthed and grown death.  Stage 4 breast cancer.  The weight of the words falls heavy. 

The doctors make a plan, send death to bring life.  Use chemotherapy and radiation to kill the rapidly dividing cells.  They call it science, I call it sacred.  This concept isn't new.

Life is given.  Then death comes.  From death comes life.  Unless a grain of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it produces much grain. John 12:24

I can't claim to know what this journey will be for our family or how my mom will experience it.  Even as she moves forward into the treatment plan there are so many uncertainties.  It's exhausting and uncomfortable.  It can be frightening and overwhelming.  It's painful.  It brings out the worst and the best of us.  There is hope.  There is so much loving support.  There is new mercy every morning. 

I come alongside to lighten the load, to enter into this sacred space and step in time to the dance of life and death, anticipating the shift from death to more abundant life.

Tuesday, April 23, 2013


The news article said that they "found the couple's two-year-old daughter unharmed" in the home.  Unharmed.  In the same home, on the same evening that they found her mother's body.  Unharmed. While police locked down the neighborhood to search for her father, the primary suspect in her mother's death.  Unharmed.  When her whole world was shattered.

The reporter got it wrong.  There may have been no evidence of physical injury, but a little girl was most certainly harmed. 

And these are the thoughts that spin through my mind as I rock my 20-month-old a little longer than usual.  When my husband told me, over the phone, about this young mother, a former co-worker, shot-dead by her husband, my thoughts went first to her child.  A little girl not much older than my youngest.

Maybe it's morbid, maybe it's empathy, but I wondered if, when she was afraid, that little girl cried out for her mommy, like mine does.  I wondered if she cried out for her daddy, like mine does.  I wonder if she's being comforted now, while mine sleeps easily in her crib. 

I pray healing for the harm that this child experienced.  I pray healing for the friends and family walking through this tragedy.  There is no quick remedy for a wound so profound.  And so I pray that I will remember, as my little girl grows, to pray for this other little girl, whose world has been shattered.