I was twenty-two years old when my father told me that the cancer had returned with a vengeance. We had thought he was clear, done, finished. The CAT scans had told us the cancer had been defeated by the rigors of chemotherapy and radiation. I had shared the good report with my praying Bible study group to cheers.
But it was back. And there would be no reprieve this time. At the unwelcome news, I was no longer twenty-two years old but six, and I crawled onto my father’s lap and told him I was scared. He confessed to me that he was scared, too.
An unknown future. A fight for more years all but lost. What would this crossing over from this life to full LIFE entail? Many of you know. I will just say here that it was a painful, trying, grace-filled five months that followed my father’s confession. Yes, I will tell you that. I will also tell you that his last mumbled but well understood words to me were, “I love you.”
Holy words that I treasure in my memory and in my heart.
I face an uncertain future today. I am fifty-four years old and though I am not facing cancer ravaging one I love, I do not know what awaits me beyond the moments of this very one I am living in. I am fifty-four years old, but I still feel at times twenty-two, and yes, even six. Change is on the wind, and change always feels like loss. I want to climb up on my Daddy’s lap and confess my fears.
So, in my spirit, in prayer, I do just that. Maybe you have a father who is still alive – in whom you are safe to confide your emotions. Maybe you don’t. But whether you have one whom you can see and feel and trust, or like me, you do not, we all have a good and trustworthy Father waiting. Understanding. Caring. His arms are open to us, even His lap is open to us, and though we do not know what is coming, He does. Though I am often uncertain or afraid, He never is.
I’m climbing up there for a while today. And I’m not climbing down. Not until I’m good and ready. But when I am…I will still be held throughout every moment of this day and the unknown that is coming. I am held for the rest of my life. And so are you.