The phone rang. It was a person from my support group in a state of disorientation and distress. She wanted advice, but I quickly determined that nothing I could possibly tell her would help.
“Um. look,” I said. “Are you able to drive?”
When she answered yes, I replied, “then how about coming over for lunch tomorrow.” Then the inducement: “I’ll make a pizza.”
We were entertaining a guest that night and I had left-over dough and toppings. Next day was Sunday. She came over with a friend after church. She is a religious individual and her faith has been a great help to her. Her meds, however, have let her down time and time again. A new treatment she was on wasn’t working. She was back to square one. Many of us know the heartbreak and frustration.
I’m no doctor, no miracle worker. All I could offer was my hospitality and friendship. Out came the pizza, in the shape of a giant Eucharist. We literally broke bread. We talked – about this and about that. About funny things. About painful things. The pizza made a big hit.
One thing that came up in the conversation was a passage from Ecclesiastes: “In dealing with men it is God's purpose to test them and see what they truly are.”
The way I interpret this is if you’re going to pray to God, rather than pray to be cured, pray to be healed. Instead of asking God to get rid of your illness, ask God to help you use your illness to make you a better person. Hate the illness, but do not hate what the illness can make of us.
My friend has a long hard road ahead of her, but today, I am convinced, around our table some healing occurred. For her and for me.
Published On: March 23, 2006
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