I have four friends, more when I think about it, battling difficult and dangerous illnesses.  While each is at a different stage, recurrence, post first operation, specialist diagnosis and treatment, and initial diagnosis, it is challenging to think of the road ahead.  When I hear of other friends struggling with life changing events, I can see the dark clouds forming all around me.  Part of me wants to scream in a mix of anger and horror as another part of me retreats to a quiet corner.

As I wake to a tropical day with the promise a bright sun and the promise of breezes in the evening, I wonder how anyone can deal with the extremes that life throws their way.  There are no easy answers; I cannot find any get out of jail (any way you care to define it) cards or escape routes from the immediate.

What I can find is beauty, wonder, and hope confronting the face of evil.

I find beauty in the calm urban setting marked by the sounds of birds waking to a new morning.  I find hope in the pictures of a light in a snowstorm shared by a friend.  I find wonder at the resiliency of the human spirit – taking on a rock climb as I remember her fear of heights, battling cancer with total resolve and commitment, and persevering to right when it would be so easy to take the shortcut.

I have no doubt that the storm clouds are going to hit and hit hard.  I equally have confidence that beauty, wonder, and hope will live through this and triumph in the end!  So, I choose and “my mouth’s full of great praise for God, I’m singing his hallelujahs surrounded by crowds,” (Psalm 109.30)

We are in a battle for our lives and our aspirations.  Recent events remind me that the fight will be long, hard, and constant.  What happens next will be the work of our hands and feet.  I am reaching for beauty, embracing wonder, and looking to make our world a better place.

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