on the occasion of two friends suffering cancer and two others shunning me
it starts behind the eyes
pressure like gorilla knuckles pushing sinuses inside out
helium filling up the skull
without the comic relief of a cartoon voice
to at least let hysterical laughter decompress
is a visceral ripping away
the gouging of a dry well
wounds of friends
illness consumes cells like fire
emotional blackmail rots backbones
this is what it's like
to have a shotgun pressed to your head
no negotiator in sight
So when spurned by unhealthy friends who don’t want restoration
or suffering alongside sick friends who just want life to be normal again,
I must ask the question:
Am I willing to die to myself?
Surrender my plans?
Give up trying to preserve my reputation against what others think?
Stop demanding God restore my relationships and heal my friends’ bodies?
These are good things, yes?
But they are second things.
The first thing is to seek God’s heart.
To hear God’s voice.
To be restored in relationship with the trinity.
To finally let go my tight grasp on my demand for a specific outcome and move toward opening my hands and holding this all loosely on bent knees. Seeing with gratitude that it is by God’s mercy that we are not consumed. That even the worst circumstance can ultimately be a gift from a good God who loves me and gives only that which makes me more like Christ.
So my angst-ridden poetry, while an accurate snapshot of an emotional moment becomes nothing more than a portal to seeing beyond, tasting the eternal.
“In this world, you will have trouble,” Jesus said. “But take heart. I have overcome the world.”
So there is no need for negotiation. No gun to my head.
“I have died and my life is hid with Christ in God.”
Restoration of relationships are secondary.
Healing of bodies is secondary.
God and God alone is first and will have no other gods before him.
He will strip away all that keeps me from seeing him.
Soli deo gloria