|State Forest State Park, CO|
As I was walking down from Lake Agnes in Colorado last week, I stopped for a bit by a cheerful little stream, to rest my legs. In contrast to the water, which bounced and burbled down the hillside, I became still, both within and without.
As I sat and watched in stillness, I became aware of the tears spilling from my eyes. I hurt, and something in the movement of water was drawing the hurt out, to be eased and smoothed. I probed back within to find the source of the tears, and wasn't completely surprised to find me angry with my body for getting cancer.
It was quite a betrayal. I've done my best over the years to do all I could to minimize the odds. I exercise, I eat right, I don't smoke... I've done all I could do to stay healthy. But my body, my genetics... I ended up with cancer anyhow. And it sucks. On so many levels.
As the tears fell, I let the anger go, or at least tried to. I sent it into the water, there to be broken to pieces on the rocks, no longer strong enough to add to my burden of coping with the remaining effects of my illness.
Then, the next level of awareness. Christians are told to forgive not just ourselves, but our enemies. Could I forgive, not just myself, but the cancer, for leading me on to this unwelcome detour? Still fight it with all I have, but fight with cold determination and not let the anger leech part of the energy I need for the battle? This one's been a little harder; I'm still working on it.
I stayed there for quite some time, until I felt a measure of Peace. The tears slowly dried, I became aware of the sun on my back, the rock poking me in the leg (there always has to be one of those when one sits on a rocky bank). I stood, still thoughtful, and continued on my way.
Forgive the cancer? Really??????