Thursday, June 26, 2014

You Never Know


Glynis M. Belec


 As usual I was flying in to our local grocery store intent on flying out again within ten minutes, knowing well that is a foolish expectation in our small town. I moan about this every time, but it is an affectionate moan for I know each time I go into the store I will see someone I know. And that's not a bad thing. After all, I've lived in Drayton for almost 30 years. Tuesday morning grocery shopping has been part of my social calendar for years. The weather is usually the conversation initiator, then before I know it I'm chatting up a storm with some sweet local.

     So when I spotted Miss K this past Tuesday, I knew we would dive in and have a rollicking good laugh. Miss K is one of the sweetest, jovial-spirited women with whom I love to swap words. She loves the Lord and it shows. I rarely see her without a smile lighting up her slight, pretty features. She lives down the road from me but the busy bees that we are, we don't see each other on the street often - maybe the odd wave from the car as we whiz by each other's homes.

     I had spotted a for sale sign on Miss K's house the other week and since we have our abode up for sale, too, the conversation this morning skipped the impending rain and we dove right in to our high taxes and big houses. We commiserated and told each other about our plans - wondering if God's plans aligned with ours. We were hopeful.

     Somehow the conversation slipped into one of health issues and as I leaned on my cart in the middle of the produce aisle Miss K proceeded to tell me that after eight years in remission from breast cancer, she has recently found out that it has resurfaced. I felt like one of the nearby honeydew melons had hit me in the stomach. For one brief moment I was speechless. Miss K smiled her usual beautiful smile but with a tinge of sadness as she relayed her frustrations and what would happen next.

     The middle of the local grocery store is hardly the place for deep conversations but we continued to speak in now hushed tones about the testing and the plan for my friend.

     "I was stage 0 when I was first diagnosed eight years ago," my friend uttered as she tugged on her cute and becoming peaked hat. "So I guess you never know."

     Eventually we both said our goodbyes and I walked around the store ticking off my list in methodical fashion, not really focussed on the task at hand.

     Instead my mind wandered. How fleeting life is. How quickly the joy can be squeezed out. My expectations for a carefree, joy-filled, laughter dabbed conversation with my friend turned into one of sadness and confusion.

     When I got home, I went to my room and had a little cry for Miss K. But no sooner had I started with the 'whys' and the 'wherefores' of what was happening, I felt God pressing upon my heart the verse that has kept me afloat since my own cancer diagnosis almost six years ago - Be Still and Know that I am God - Psalm 46:10.

     In the silence I heard God whisper. He told me not to cry for my friend. He told me that the tears should fall but not for my friend. He has her in the palm of His mighty hand. I truly felt the Lord impress upon my heart that it is okay to cry - but to cry more for those who don't know Him.

     So Miss K and I will have tea together next week and we shall chat about a lot of things. We might talk about cancer. We might not. Maybe we will cry. Maybe we won't. We will definitely laugh and find joy. We will grab life by the ears and we will dance [okay maybe we won't dance but we will laugh] and then we will have more tea.

    No, we just never know what lies around the corner in this world. But thank goodness we do know Who is a mere prayer away.

Revelation 21:4 He will wipe away every tear from their eyes, and death shall be no more, neither shall there be mourning, nor crying, nor pain anymore, for the former things have passed away.”



Susan Harris said...

Beautiful and touching. It brings perspective to what is valuable on earth and hope for what we really live for - eternity. Prayer. The breath of the Spirit blowing on us.

Anonymous said...

Love this, Glynis, Adele.

Tracy Krauss said...

Your story certainly puts things in perspective...

Sally said...

This was beautifully written, Glynis, and is especially poignant for me as I just found out that my friend's husband's cancer has also returned after being dormant for a number of years. He has been a rock for all the health and other struggles of my friend and her children, and now it's time for them to be strong for him. Thank you for sharing your story: despite the difficult circumstances, I see hope and blessing instead of sorrow and discouragement.

Glynis said...

Thanks, Sally, Tracy, Adele & Susan. Yes, it surely does bring everything into a God focus and reminds us how fleeting life really is. That was a big lesson for me when I was travelling that road. Time to weigh what really is important. . .And Sally I am so sorry about your friend's hubby. We never, ever give up hope!

Romans 12:12 Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.

Bobbi Junior said...

Be still, and know that I am God.

Cry (and pray) for those who don't.

Yeah, those do need to be our priorities, don't they. A reminder expressed most gently, Glynis. Thank you.


Peter Black said...

Thank you Glynis for sharing your heart in this story which, as has been said, is beautifully told. You show that the several points of poignancy you and Miss K. share, regarding your mutual experiences with life-threatening illness, are overshadowed by the ultimate and greater commonality you share in the knowledge of God and that you both belong to Him -- "not for the years of time alone, But for eternity" (as one of my favourite "Singspiration" songs goes.
How lovely that you anticipate sharing fellowship together over a cuppa. (Love the cute pics!) :)

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