thoughts from the waiting room of the cancer center

I sit and wait on my friend.   I thumb through an ancient edition of AARP . I glance around me at the waiting room. It’s filled with people of all shapes and sizes, all ages and varying prognosis, after all, we are at the cancer center. They folks in these chairs aren’t here for allergies. The nurse in me wants to ask them what they are here for, what treatments are they having, how is it going, are the side affects troublesome?   Instead, I just sit and look at them losing myself in thought……

No one gets a free pass on suffering.   The lady to my right is well dressed with her tanned toned arms. She sits next to her husband who is pale and skinny.  His Tshirt hangs on his frail frame that I suppose at one time was just as tan and toned as his wife’s.  I bet he never thought he would be sitting at the cancer center.  Everyone suffers.  No one can opt out. It may not be cancer or a heart attack. Instead it may be money, or a divorce, kids that walk away from God or countless other tragedies, but the truth remains that there is no escaping suffering.  I can scream, “It’s not fair!” all day long, but it won’t change the fact that living in a broken world means the shards will cut you.  When suffering comes, and it will,  I don’t want to be bitter. I want to be like that pale frail man who laughed with his wife as they watched a  video on their tablet there in the waiting room.    When their laughter caught my attention I looked up to meet his eye. It was crinkled with a smile and he explained to me, ” My grandson keeps me in stitches….”

Maybe it’s time to stop waiting for tomorrow. Strange how we think we have all the time in the world. Just that morning,  The Mister had asked me to call Big Girl and I thought, “I will…. later on.” because I think I have all the time in the world.  Just last week I thought I need to stop eating all this sugar and clean up my diet.  Just yesterday I thought, ” When life slows down I’m gonna start singing in the choir again.”   But tomorrow I may be cancelling everything else to get my chemo treatments.  Tomorrow I may be talking about tumor stages instead of planning  my next marathon. Whatever I need to get done, I need to do today. And I’m not talking about work.  There are some people I need to hug, say ” I love you” to.  So I take out my phone and dial Big Girl’s number. She doesn’t answer but I leave a message….” Hey baby, I was just thinking about you. I love you, and I miss you.”  She will hear it and smile and probably roll her eyes and that’s ok too.

Life is short. We all die. I know, that sounds so morbid, but it’s not. The tragedy would be if this life was all there is. The tragedy is that I don’t live in light of eternity.  The tragedy is that I don’t long for heaven more than earth.  The tragedy is that we do everything possible to keep us here for every second possible….and if we only knew what was waiting on us.  God tells us to think about our death, because it’s coming. Life is not an endless supply of days.  He tells us the reason to be aware of our limited life is so we will apply our hearts to wisdom.   Living in light of eternity means we spend each day to it’s maximum capacity. Not one wasted minute. Even on the days we rest and play we do it in light of eternity.  Even on days when I sit in the waiting room of the cancer center waiting on a friend , it’s not wasted.   Not for me anyway, because sometimes God needs to get you quiet, so His still small voice is not drowned out by ipods, radios and chatter…..

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3 Comments

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3 responses to “thoughts from the waiting room of the cancer center

  1. wendy C.

    Thank you.

  2. You are so right. None of us get a free pass. Suffering knows no bondaries and is not colorblind. It reveals what we are made of and where we need shoring up. Luckily for us we have a Savior who is there for that very purpose and friends He uses to do that very thing…Love abounding. It always amazes me how He uses us in our times of suffering to minister to someone else who is suffering so we can recieve healing through ministering a Balm of relief so to speak, that only He can give. We need to keep our eyes focused on Him because He has through our suffering blessings abounding for us and for others if we will just glance in His direction.

  3. Julie

    Thank you for that reminder, we don’t always have tomorrow.

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