Constance Ore is a retired Teacher, Choir Director, and Organist. And a formidable cook.

March 9, 2010

Filed under: — Constance at 7:07 pm on Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The willows in the wetlands look ghostly, wrapped in a heavy fog that has settled over Sanctuary. Recent rains removed much of the remaining snow and yesterday’s first appearance of a red-winged blackbird made spring’s arrival more official than the date on the calendar. How quickly plants long buried in snow assert themselves again! The grasses are bright green, the daffodils and iris have pushed their blades two to three inches up from the ground, and all sorts of tiny leaves are appearing. Yesterday, the geese were moving across the sky in great numbers as they took advantage of winds high above. Today, everything is still – we are all waiting for the sun’s return.

After five years, I am facing the reality of the disease awakening after a long time of it “simmering”, a term used by the oncologist. Now pain has become my most intimate companion, my appetite comes and goes, and my mind is trying to deal with the entity of this person it occupies. Since we have put into place the pieces of pain management a long time ago, the only thing that we can do is increase the dosage of medications, and even then, there is always the presence of “hurting”. I am thinking of death again, and reflecting on how much I wish to hold on to this life with all of the dear people that are mine to know and love. Of course, there is Alphie, too, and the birds and creatures of Sanctuary. It feels as if the pain has grabbed my life and begun to change the essence of it, perhaps like the tree given over to bonsai, where it will be trimmed and tied and reshaped into something entirely different than was originally intended.

Since Biblical times, believers in God have called for surcease from pain. Many of the psalms have very descriptive verses about the ills and difficulties of life, and in countless words written since then, people have taken on the subject of “Why?” All sorts of conclusions have come and gone. For some, it has fallen into the pit of punishment for sin, for others, it has been described as a tool for burning away the dross and leaving only the purified self in its place. There are many other thoughtful commentaries on the matter, but I have yet to find anything that answers the question, and it joins the great body of “why’s” that we pick up, examine, and finally put back down, unanswered. Perhaps the knowing of a thing doesn’t change it at all, so I conclude that it is the exhortation to “live by faith” that is my resting place. Ultimately, it is God alone who will take me where I must go.


Comment by Stacy Creed

March 9, 2010 @ 9:49 pm

Connie, sometimes when I wonder why, I find some solace in a short Emily Dickinson poem. It goes like this:

I shall know why — when Time is over —
And I have ceased to wonder why —
Christ will explain each separate anguish
In the fair schoolroom of the sky —

He will tell me what “Peter” promised —
And I — for wonder at his woe —
I shall forget the drop of Anguish
That scalds me now — that scalds me now!

I suppose when we are finally in a position to ask the big why question, the answer won’t really matter anymore. Until then, of course, we keep asking, and we have yet to find an the answer, or at least I haven’t found one.

Comment by irene Beethe

March 9, 2010 @ 10:06 pm

What more can be said? You said it – God leads and carries you every where you go. “We walk by faith and not by sight.” (LSB 720)
Trusting you into God’s loving arms. Irene

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