Life is tenuous and unpredictable. We have our expectations in how our life should evolve and see ourselves growing older into the twilight years. But I am in a world where that expectation is no longer.
Life and longevity is like walking a tightrope; the name of this tightrope, or highwire for some, is called cancer and one must walk across as in a dance. My friends are not carrying the balancing tool either but are walking “freehand” using only one’s body to maintain this feat of balance. It is definitely mind over reality; a determination to take the next step hoping not to fall and you must not look at the ground nor look at the final destination but walk straight ahead by faith in believing you will get across.
I went to my cancer support group last night. I came home discouraged and sad, I learned another fellow sister in the fight relapsed with breast cancer but this time it is in her stomach and possibly bones. I sat across the table from four women who are in recurrence; I sat across from four brave and courageous women, three who are in treatment in hopes of defeating this beast and one who has resigned and decided quality of life outweighs the alternative, another go at chemotherapy. I sat at a table with four in recurrence, two who are not and one was told by her oncologist her cancer will come back, it is a matter of time.
I wrote about this before and I write it again, I can walk away (or run away) from this cancer world, I am well. But I am choosing to remain in it because maybe in some way I can be of service to another. Little did I know this choice would involve me with friends and acquaintances who have died and may die. I wasn’t equipped for this but I say “yes” to God in hopes that He can use me somehow and in some way. I feel inadequate for this task; one, in that I can not empathize with the emotions of relapse and two, I don’t know what it is like to be that much closer to death. But in my weakness God will use me for his purpose and I know there is one thing I can offer all the time.
“Can I pray for you?” Prayer.
I sat across the table from my sister who chose to not continue any more treatment. She doesn’t come right out and say this, but she knows she is dying. She shared with the group that her days consist of sitting in her lounge chair and either watching t.v. or sleeping or sometimes reading and she said praying is a part of her day, too. I didn’t know she prayed. I am glad she prays.
What is prayer? Prayer is different from meditation, meditation is quieting yourself and focusing in on something. Prayer is talking to God; prayer is admitting there is a God and he listens to you. Prayer is hoping and prayer is peace provoking. Prayer is asking for help or hope or peace and comfort. Prayer is powerful, too, especially when you ask others to pray for you. Praying is an action of submitting to some one greater than yourself and believing or having faith that God hears you and that he cares for and about you. Prayer is not a sign of weakness but of a spiritual strength and it is from that platform that I ask, “Can I pray for you?”
I am watching my friends walk the tightrope and one is on the highwire. I stand below them encouraging them along in this daunting task of placing one foot in front of the next without looking down. I gasp when they wobble and from the ground I shout, “Come on! Come on! Focus. One more step!” On this walk across the wire my friends have nothing to hold on to but determination in persevering and a hope found in prayer.
The cancer world I live in is a heart ache. I can’t run from this! I need to come along those who are aching and I need to, no I must!, without hesitancy ask them, “Can I pray for you?”
And the woman across the table looked straight into my eyes and said, “Pray for me.”