i wait

03 Jul

Unforced rhythms of grace in the midst of the forced rhythms of chemo.

Tomb and resurrection. Tomb and resurrection. Tomb and resurrection.

Ad nauseum.

Good at fully embracing resurrection for the brief window that it comes. Three or four days this last time around. Glories not despised but so seemingly fleeting and brief! Beautiful, grace-filled faces on Sunday. Necks I simply could not hug hard enough. My soul bathed in, desperately sought to absorb the glories that are Trina (!), Gina, Steven, Shalom (!), Sara, Jennifer, Julie, Abby. A granddaughter’s dance and laughter. More than I can remember, but each imprinting, imparting fresh grace through body and soul. Easy rhythms to embrace.

Then back to the tomb for a sixth count.

Will I ever settle into that chair, embrace it?

Embrace the needle prick into the Borgish implant on my upper chest?

Embrace the alien intruder rather than rip it out?

Embrace the unavoidable saline taste filling my senses? Flushing, flushing, flushing.

Embrace the tepid water, the hot tea on hot days when cold burns my thoat?

Embrace the pack, the background sting from the needle, the accessing line, the tethered, inescapable companion pumping poison into my body?

Embrace the snap, snap, snap of that pump minute after minute after minute – the snap I swear I can still hear long after the pump is gone?

Embrace enforced idleness?

Embrace lethargy and listlessness?

Embrace the enveloping fog, the heaviness spread through each limb, the sinking down, it  would seem, into the bowels of sheol itself?  A new sensation. So tempting to embrace that one. Dare I?

Embrace the seeming folly of ambitious projects and productions made of sand when you are dipping your toes in the pool of death?


Embrace it all. No choice. This is what’s here. Madness is the only alternative. Blind, life-denying religious zeal masquerading as faith to move mountains, Morias that must be past through rather than bypassed. Oh religious fool within. There is no resurrection without the tomb.


We fancy we live on Resurrection Sunday. But it’s only glimpses, if we are blessed enough. Morsels of immortality. Glimpses into man fully alive, passing through stone, through walls and doors. Glimpses only, if we are so lucky. A starving man can live on such crumbs, such lempas bread.

No, though we encounter occasional, matching glimpses into our own personal Good Friday horrors, that hopefully are blessedly cut short, it is on Holy Saturday that most of our lives are lived. The day in between, the day that we leave quietly unheralded, unnoticed each Holy Week. The day of the tomb, of waiting, of darkness, of immobility. The day of stillness with hope wrapped in spices promising in the dark a new day.

Sunday’s coming round again.

I wait.



Posted by on July 3, 2012 in musings, Suffering, Videos


Tags: , , , ,

10 responses to “i wait

  1. LorettaJean

    July 3, 2012 at 5:58 am

    My Soul is the never-dieing part of me. The “part” that separates from the body when I leave for eternity. Or is that my Spirit? No, it’s my Soul. And the thing is–only God can separate my Soul from my body. So it’s not a feeling thing–is it? Probably not. More like the very essence of who I am–since it embodies my eternity. So if I say my Soul cries out for you, my Brother–that’s sort of silly if my Soul is the eternal part of me. But it is so! My Soul–in that the very essence of me– is crying out for you, your pain, your journey, your honesty, your hope. I pray for continued grace and even more mercy for you from our ever-faithful God and Savior. How beautiful the tapestry of your life will be when we all see the right side of the work!!

  2. wordhaver

    July 3, 2012 at 12:43 pm

    Thanks Loretta! And I love that last line…

  3. randallphelps

    July 3, 2012 at 1:02 pm

    Wow Mike, the imagery and feelings that you convey in your writings (this one in particular) is simply amazing. From Trek to Alien (Prometheus, no doubt) to LotR to that sinking dark and foggy feeling of drug-induced befuddlement and the sights and sounds that go along with it – makes me feel like I am right there with you. And I am, brother, in spirit (or soul ‘essence’ as Loretta also so eloquently conveys) and thought and prayers. You then provide the much needed comic relief of the clip at the end of your post.
    Today’s “Saint of the Day” is Saint Thomas and with him I cry out for you and with you “My Lord and my God!”
    Be blessed, Mike and let me know if you need anything that I can help you with.

  4. wordhaver

    July 3, 2012 at 1:31 pm

    Thank you, Randall! I very much feel you are sharing this journey with me. And I knew there was a reason I was led to The Terminal clip – the breathing space (although perhaps Terminal is not the most optimistic title for a blog about chemo, on second thought) 🙂

  5. wordhaver

    July 3, 2012 at 1:39 pm

    And thank you for the link on Thomas! Dovetails nicely. 🙂

  6. Jennifer Stuart

    July 4, 2012 at 3:50 am

    I had a friend who went through chemo some years ago, and she is not the writerly type, so all I could do was talk to her on the phone about the details of what was going on. Reading this makes me feel like I have more of a sense of how it would feel than talking to her did, even though we were so close for our whole lives. I am glad that you have such an outlet for your experience, and that there are people who understand and can support and provide helpful tidbits through it…thank you for sharing these things with the world 🙂

  7. wordhaver

    July 4, 2012 at 4:13 am

    Thanks Jennifer! In sharing these experiences I always have to overcome the feeling of being redundant or just plain heavy, but it seems to resonate with folks – and it’s definitely therapeutic for me!

  8. Jennifer Stuart

    July 4, 2012 at 4:15 am

    it being therapeutic for you is the most important part, I think!

  9. wordhaver

    July 4, 2012 at 4:17 am

    I think you’re right. If it weren’t healing for me, it’s doubtful it would communicate healing to anyone else!

  10. Jennifer Stuart

    July 4, 2012 at 4:23 am

    Yeah, and it just simply would not matter as much. If it’s healing to you, and nobody ever sees it ever, then you still benefit from it 🙂 but as it goes now, it is healing and benefiting to others…so the best of both worlds!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: