It’s been a long time since I’ve had to think about something like this. The last time was when my mom was diagnosed with leukemia back in the day (over 25 years ago, now).
I’d forgotten how it feels to hurt, to cry to the heavens and negotiate with the Lord, offering to bear someone’s else’s burden because you could handle that better than watching them go through it.
A special person in my life has been going through an exacerbation of a chronic illness, one that will very likely be the death of this person. (You’ll notice I’m not being very specific here — but I haven’t asked for permission to discuss this publicly so you’ll have to ask God for the details. I always figure I can pray for someone without knowing everything because He does.)
A big part of my life recently has been working out and eating better to lose weight. I’ve actually been pretty successful at this. My friend has been my inspiration in a lot of ways, partly because they have a connection to the industry and partly because I want to meet them in person. Oh, yes. This is an Internet friend — and anyone who thinks you can’t connect to someone over the Internet the way you do in RL doesn’t know what they’re talking about. They live a fair distance away — about a half-day’s car ride (literally, as in 12 hours) and it has been my goal that come next April or May, when I’m at or close to my goal, I would call my friend, schedule a time and go to where they are to meet them. I’m kind of holding onto that, actually, through all the events that are my life.
I knew that there was a problem with how their illness was going — I’d seen a picture a month or so ago and recognized a major physical symptom that is the side effect of the most common medication for his illness. And then today, I heard from a mutual friend that it was a little more than just the usual; that ultimately, it could be quite bad for my friend. And my heart just broke.
I would willingly take on this pain and illness if I could. I just spent the last the last half-hour begging the Lord to make it all right, to give my friend back the energy needed to run a business and take care of family, and the courage to see things through. I offered up my hopes and dreams, if they could only be all right.
Which, of course, is not the way it works. But I’ll keep offering and praying. I only wish I was close enough to offer more service, to offer up more than prayer, even though I truly believe God hears us and it works. It’s part of my control freak nature, I suppose, to think that if *I* was on the ground, everything would be all right. What arrogance!
Still, Lord, if you don’t mind, give me my friend’s burden and make them well. Amen.