March 31, 2016

what cancer taught me

Cancer.

It has a funny way of changing your perspective on life.

It's changed my perspective on life.

Some thoughts on what I've learned:

That lady that cut me off - maybe she just found out her husband has cancer. Maybe she's not being a jerk. Maybe she's having the hardest day of her life.

That lady who, at the cash register at the supermarket, suddenly remembers she needs tomatoes, and the cashier makes everyone in the line wait - well, maybe she's overwhelmed with just finding out her husband has cancer.

And when she bursts our sobbing over the tomatoes, a smile might not seem like it matters, but it does.

And when she goes to pay and all of a sudden can't remember how to count money, maybe she's not just a dumb blonde. 

Those people who seem like they just can't be bothered (returning the shopping cart/parking askew/etc), they seem like they're acting aloof and entitled. But maybe coping with life isn't their best thing at the moment.

People need a little more grace than we give them.

People need a little more understanding and compassion.

I can't say in words the outpouring of love, support, and generosity that has been blanketed around our family the last 3 months.  Utterly indescribable.

What if we looked at people through the lens that our community looks upon our family? We've been invited to cry, yell, scream, vent, and wear PJs to church with no judgement.

I've acted so selfish, said stupid things, and asked so much of my closest friends. Yet it's all been met with so much sympathy.

"You're going through so much, you're allowed to not be your best self."

What if we allowed strangers to not be their best selves either?

What would the world look like?

Sigh.

What I've really learned from cancer is that sometimes bad things happen to everyone. Good and bad. That's not a new thing. God causes the sun and rain to shine and fall on the good and the bad.

It doesn't mean we did something wrong or aren't good enough. It means that we live in a sinful world where people get sick and get hurt.

But we won't always.

We're not our best selves on our best day. None of us. Because what we are isn't what we were created to be.

We are all in need of a little grace.

As I write this, a song is playing on Pandora,  "Grace, grace, God's grace, grace that is greater than all our sins." 

We're all in this hurting world together.

The good and the bad.

We're in it together.

4 comments:

patti said...

And together is so good---together with all of us, 'n you, 'n God.

Landon Sell said...

Thanks for posting Cas. You are inspiring, and I pray that you have the strength everyday to continue.

Unknown said...

"Now the dwelling of God is with men, and He will live with them. They will be His people, and God Himself will be with them and be their God. He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away." He who was seated on the throne said, "I am making all things new." Rev 21:3-5

Nicole Pietromonaco Campbell said...

You don't know me, but I was at the park at the same time as you and your kids yesterday and found your blog through a photo on Instagram. I have just been reading about what you've been going through and am in tears. This post also struck very close to home. My son was diagnosed with cancer at 2 months old and had surgery at 3 months to have a large tumor removed from his neck. He's now a healthy almost 3 year old, and one of the biggest lessons I learned through the whole thing is exactly what you said here - you never know what other people are going through. Seeing you and your kids at the park yesterday, you seemed like such a happy family and I would have never known the pain you all have been experiencing. I just want to let you know that, even though I don't know you, my thoughts and prayers are with you all to keep having more fun days at the park and happy memories in between the sadness.

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