Thursday, October 14, 2010

Praying...

I'm pausing today to pray for friends who are grieving.

My friends F and N were with their mom as her battle with cancer ended yesterday.  I sat and wept when I got the news a year ago that cancer had invaded, and I sat and wept when I got the news last night that the battle was now over.  Each of them spoke of their mom's beautiful smile - a smile I've witnessed at various moments - most recently as she walked down the aisle with F and her dad at F's wedding in August.

I've known F and N for a long time.

I met N first.  At a church I used to attend.  In a time where I think we were both asking similar questions about this God we knew, and how a life of faith might look different from what we'd grown up with.  Questions about God speaking and miracles and hope.

He would read my blog, and come and find me at church on Sunday nights.  Especially during those bewildering months following my healing from depression, when my life turned upside down, and I was walking out a crazy journey of standing with others who were struggling, while simply trying to keep my head above water.  N. asked good questions. And, I remember one Sunday night in particular, when he simply prayed for me. 

Somewhere along the way, I met his little sister, F., and she became a very dear friend.  The sort of friend whom one can be perfectly honest with.  We shared a particularly twisted sense of humor (though I think hers is perhaps more refined, even, than mine!) and for the last several years have laughed our way through the craziest and deepest of conversations, checking in with each other from time to time, and trying to make it a priority to see each other once a month or so.  There were several times during the challenging last few years, where on a really hard day she'd show up unexpectedly at my office to see if I was free for lunch.  I remember one particular day, sitting in a Wendy's and laughing hard, as she reminded me I needed to "take pictures" of a coming weekend I was fearfully anticipating.  When I looked at her quizzically, her eyes glowed, and she described the sorts of "pictures" she was mentally seeing.  I still laugh every time I think about those "pictures" and the ridiculous twinge of humor they added to that weekend.  Those mental images got me through that challenging weekend.

Only a few months ago, just before her wedding, F and I spent some time together, and she reminded me again that she is the kind of friend with whom I can be completely honest, no filters necessary.  We were having our usual "what's up in our lives" catching up sort of conversation, and I was answering a sarcastic question she'd asked, "So how's that for you?"  I started to answer and stopped myself, wondering if she'd caught the change in direction of my words.  She waited patiently for me to finish and then paused, and asked, "You were going to say 'it's been hell,' weren't you?  You know you can say that, right?"  I did know, but that reminder has stuck with me, reminding me of the sort of friendship she has offered unconditionally, in the moments when I didn't seem to have much to offer in return.

I'm praying today, for F. and N. and their siblings and foster sibling and dad, and all of the many, many people who are grieving because their lives were touched by this family, and by F and N's mom.

And I'm sitting in thankfulness for their mom, and the children she raised, who have offered me parts of their lives and hearts.

May you know the peace of a God who is good, who offers mercy both harsh and tender.  And may you be surrounded by those who love you, and who's lives your mom touched.  May you know comfort in words, but also in silence.

Much love and tears to you and your family today.

Lisa

5 comments:

Ally said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Ally said...

Lisa, this may sound strange, but i think i may know of your friends. You and i had a friend in common. Or rather, you have friends who were friends with my friend. (Past tense, as he went to be with Jesus almost a year ago.) i say all this only because the connection, together with the upcoming anniversary of my friends' death, seems to make your post tug more so at my heart. We live in such a small world. You and your friends are in my prayers.

Lisa said...

indeed, such a very, very small world... thanks for praying, and certainly returning those prayers as you move towards the upcoming anniversary of your friend's death.

Susan said...

adding my prayers to yours.... may our God of all comfort be very near.

Lisa said...

Thanks Susan... may He be near indeed...