This morning, once more in my (I’ve begun to think of him as ‘my’, we spend a lot of time together) surgeon’s office, instead of looking down at my phone or the one Good Housekeeping I’d already checked out ten times, I realized I was staring off into the middle-distance at a small potted plant. The plant had 5-7 leaves and was beginning to materialize in my foggy mind as marijuana. I thought, oh, right, medical marijuana, but then backtracked, I live in PA not Boulder, and came to: I was in the surgeon’s office for my shot of weekly silicone. I gave myself a virtual whack on the head in hopes of smacking my mind back to reality.
An hour later I sat in my car looking over my grocery list as I waited in line to pick up a prescription from the CVS drive through. I pulled up to the window, and when the pharmacy employee asked for my name and date of birth, I said, “Two boxes of Rice Krispies.” True story.
My own whack on my own head had obviously failed me, but God’s far gentler reminders of my wayward mind have been taking root like nosedives into soil.
It’s interesting and unexpected that what I’m learning most in this whole breast cancer thing is, not only that my Father in Heaven loves me more than I thought, but in tandem with this reality, how deeply embedded my own sin is – wait, lets not even use the term ‘sin’. That’s too innocuous, let’s call it what it is: jealousy, hate, selfishness, vanity, and my all around solipsistic tendencies. Turns out they go hand in hand, God’s love and my sin. (Eureka!) This is the crazy-maker of the Christian life. As I understand the weight of my sin, I understand the weight of God’s glory and love.
So I’m getting pruned. Metaphorically pruned. Breasts chopped off and Frankenstein stumps in their place. And perhaps my ovaries shall get the axe as well. It hurts but all’s good. I don’t always feel like it’s good, but it is.
I sometimes meander around the body of Christ trying to fit in everywhere. It’s a fearing man not God thing that inclines me to do this. Appearing awesome to everyone. I’ll be the feet, the strong shoulders, the beautiful smile. Everyone will love me and think I’m great.
But then the axe comes down on my breasts and it just plain hurts and all of a sudden the rest of the body becomes essential. I need you body, give me a hand over here (arrggh, unintentional pun)
And you are, stunning Body of Christ. Your help is sober love to this hang-head soul and it’s blowing my mind.
There’s a bottle of perfume next to my bed. You gave it to me, Body of Christ, sweet humble woman who sits in the back of church Sunday mornings. When I wear the perfume it reminds me of you.
Your meals in their Tupperware and foil.
And your cards! They are beautiful and They sit on my bookcase and sometimes I spread them out and read a few of them and I remember again that I belong to you and you belong to me and we are a body. Blessings to you strong Body. I couldn’t live without your beating heart and able hands and I love you more than ever. I didn’t realize how important you are until now and I’m sorry.
Your notes, your cards, are full of Kings and Queens and Aces, not Ones. You courageous Royal Flush; you Full Flush and Full House. I’ll set you down on the table when the time comes. I’ll look my opponent in the eye, the one who cheats me and bluffs me, I’ll spread you out like flowers open to the morning and say, “See? Turns out I won after all.”