Feeble Knees

Monday, July 11, 2005

Knowing and yet not knowing

I know that I can't take credit for this, or kid myself into thinking that I've grown or matured. Tomorrow my father will find out whether or not a nodule in his lung looks cancerous or not, and I'm not worried.

When my mom first told me he was going for the chest X-ray, I knew they'd find something. I knew it like I know my name. Can't explain why, I just did. Is it God's way of going before me and preparing the way for what's to come?

Things like this have happened before. I knew when a friend was first diagnosed with aplastic anemia, when she was still healthy-looking, when the doctors said the prognosis was promising, before two failed bone marrow transplants, I knew she was going to die. Couldn't explain how I knew it, I just did. We had just over a year to laugh and cry and pray together. Then she went home.

The night my best friend's Dad died, I went to visit her. She and her mom and sister were keeping close by his bedside. We all knew he was going to die in a matter of weeks, maybe less. It was lung cancer. They'd sent him home with Hospice care so he could be where he was comfortable, amidst familiar faces and surroundings. She came out to the kitchen and we had a cup of tea. I knew when it was time for me to go; it was his time and he needed her there to say goodbye. I did not see her or hear from her that night, or the next day - which was my wedding day - but I knew. My family called me on my honeymoon to convey the news. When I later spoke to her myself, she said he'd died not long after I'd left that night. I told her I knew, and that's why I'd left when I did.

When prayers were said over this woman I don't know well, I stood by, a little to the side. I knew she was healed. Can't say how. I just did. It didn't surprise me then when she let go of that walker and ran around shouting. It wasn't a big revelation, there was no vision, no signs, nothing spooky or out of the ordinary. I just knew. I also knew at the same moment that she hadn't been healed of everything that afflicted her, but I did not say anything. She still had MS. I don't know why, and it was very difficult for her to accept that some time later when her doctors confirmed it. It was even harder for her to tell our church, which, as expected, didn't handle the news very gracefully. But she had indeed been touched by God, and He had healed her of a disability, much to the surprise and consternation of her doctors.

The knowing just happens that way. Usually it seems my part is to keep my mouth shut, seek God, and pray. So I do that. And wait.

My dad went to the doctor to get his X-ray results just before the 4th of July holiday weekend. That morning I made a point of stopping by mom & dad's to have a cup of tea with mom while she waited for him to come back from the appointment, because I knew that she was worried and shouldn't be waiting all alone. I didn't tell her what I knew though. Sure enough there was something, they specifically called it a nodule. The doctor ordered a CAT scan right away for the 5th. And so we're waiting for him to get the results tomorrow.

Funny thing is, I don't know if it is in fact cancer. There's a good chance it might not be - at least fifty per cent, from what I've read. Though given his age and family history, it's just as likely that it is cancerous. But there's really no telling.

What I do know that that where the worry normally is, where it should be, there's this steadfast, immovable calm that I can't explain. It has all the hallmarks of the peace and grace of God, and I am so thankful for it.

It is whatever it is. And it's okay, because we are in God's hands.

And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:7 (KJV)

And let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also ye are called in one body; and be ye thankful.
Colossians 3:15 (KJV)

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