Life feels cruel sometimes.
On my heart tonight are:
...The dear wife of a beloved former pastor who is stricken with cancer--again--and is slipping away at a Texas hospice even as these words tumble onto my computer screen
...A former News Sentinel colleague who died suddenly --and so young--on Sunday
...Precious friends in Middle Tennessee who are still struggling to cope with the loss of a beloved son, brother and father
A friend recently posted this very accurate assessment: "Death, disease, crisis/tragedy, natural disaster & their kin are such RUDE visitors - they rarely give much RSVP (advance warning) & never bother to politely ask, 'May I come in.'"
But even as I wrestle with the havoc these unwelcome guests cause in the lives of beloved ones, it's as if an unseen Hand gently tugs at my sleeve and tenderly turns my face toward a resident and constant friend: hope.
Hope reminds me of:
...Wonderful news today from a Knoxville friend that his cancer had shrunk after weeks of radiation; he faces surgery to remove dead tumor cells and then a journey to recovery
...The laughter of a now-7-month-old boy that I hear every week when I visit his mama. He was born at 1 Ib, 3 oz, and given a 26 percent chance of survival
...Rain, sweet rain tonight that breathes new life into parched and withering grass
Tonight, the pain and joys of those near and around me cause me to run into the arms of the One who said He is touched by our pain and sympathizes with our weaknesses; and that we can find grace and receive mercy when we are in need.
My heart cries, "Lord, have mercy. Christ, have mercy."