As I headed out of the driveway I couldn't see the road. However, I was familiar with the territory so I knew where it was located. As I looked at it this morning in the daylight I could see that I was right on target. Familiarity can help us stay on course.
In our relationship with God we walk by faith. Sometimes we do not exactly know where we are going, but we continue to move forward in faith. That is not always an easy thing to do--especially when times are difficult. I was made very aware of this at an early age when I was diagnosed with cancer the first time at age 25. Why was this happening? What was the point? How do I continue forward when I don't even know if I am going to survive? A thousand questions flooded my mind.
The amount of hurt and struggle that people face is overwhelming. Sickness, loss of employment, broken relationships, poverty, or the stress of living in war-torn countries and high crime neighborhoods can all take a toll on our mental, emotional, physical, and spiritual well-being. We can become worn out by the challenges and struggles of each passing day. How do we move forward when we can't see the light at the end of the tunnel?
Today, I read an update on Caring Bridge about a young man (19) going through a tremendous struggle. It was four years ago today on December 13 that a CT Scan revealed a tumor in his brain. His life, and the life of his entire family, was forever changed. Although progress has been made over the last four years, there is still a long way to go. How does one continue to maintain the fight to get well when the odds are so steep? It is with the grace of God, support from others, and a tenacity developed from deep within oneself. There are times when you can't see where the road leads, but you walk in faith.
This young man was a student at the elementary school of which I served as Principal and Coordinator of Religious Education. Keeping up-to-date on his story frequently calls me to prayer. There are times it even brings a tear to my eye. Why does one so young have to suffer so intensely?
When I went through surgery and chemotherapy nearly 30 years ago I spent 52 days in the hospital over a four month period. (Who was really counting?) The recuperation took much longer, but at least I was able to somewhat get back into a regular routine after about six months. I can't even imagine how tired, frustrated, and angry I would have been if it would have lingered for years as it has for this young man.
December 13, is the Feast Day of St. Lucy. There isn't much known about her life; we mainly have legends handed down through the ages. However, I offer my prayer to God and seek St. Lucy's intercession for all who are hurting. Today, I especially offer my prayer for Sam and his entire family. May God bless each of you with an abundance of grace, mercy, strength, perseverance, faith, hope, and healing!
"Saint Lucy, you did not hide your light under a basket, but let it shine for the whole world, for all the centuries to see. We may not suffer torture in our lives the way you did, but we are still called to let the light of our Christianity illumine our daily lives. Please help us to have the courage to bring our Christianity into our work, our recreation, our relationships, our conversation -- every corner of our day. Amen"