13 June 2012

"What now?"

A while back, a friend shared this comic with me.

Emotion by xkcd
Substitute a few of the pre-cancer "causes" and shift the arrival of cancer a year forward and it could be my emotions.

As my daughter's chemo treatments wrapped up early in 2012 the white area with the ?? began to grow.  Life pre-cancer was just life, it wasn't perfect, but it was. Life post-cancer is different, time feels more precious. (She's doing great, by the way.)

The white space has been filled with a fuzzy attempt to discern where my energies should be spent, what should be my focus, what is worthy of my time now that it feels more precious.  

But it's been too much thinking, not enough living.  I believe that something new, something amazing, something creative will come out of our family's experience.  Yet I'm having a difficult time waiting to see what that something is...

Random stories have appeared out of nowhere to encourage me to just move on, to live, to do.

I recently learned an adventure photographer whose work I've admired for years experienced cancer at a young age and was touched by the way his view of community changed.

A colleague shared how his career path changed following a family tragedy.

Yesterday it was Rob Bell's Drops Like Stars that jumped off the bookstore shelf and resonated in my soul as I read:
Others with far more wisdom and experience than me have tackled the "why" questions of suffering.

Here, in these pages, I'm more interested in another question...

Not "why this?"
But "what now?"
He goes on to write: "[Suffering] compels us to eliminate the unnecessary, the trivial, the superficial."

I can see that in our family's life, in the way that we've reordered our priorities and the new ways we use our resources of time, energy, and money.

Rob continues with this observation:
Sometimes what happens to us when we suffer is that we become open to the mercy and grace and gratitude and gift and appreciation and joy that are always around us all the time...
While I wait to see "what now?" I'd be content if I could be open to what is, and always has been, all around me.