July has certainly been a month for prayer. I had started out the month with concerns of a possible "lump" or "mass" seen in my check up. Rather than re-filming right away though, a look at history was a more conservative way to go so we needed to wait for films to be sent, etc.
I had decided not to have any concern, as there is some benign history in my family tree - and it was likely along the same lines. I really wanted to focus on not getting worried. Still every now and then there were fleeting thoughts of "what ifs"... and "how would"... with every effort to remind myself that not knowing anything yet was no cause to despair. My focus quickly turned to those who are suffering, and to those that did suffer so much, and we lost not so long ago. During this time of not knowing if there was or wasn't an issue, I put together the above Pink Ribbon Rosary in honor and memory of my dear friend Cyndi.
Also, during this last week, a much more difficult experience happened to another dear friend of mine. After suffering an illness after a surgery, it was explained to her that she likely had cancer, but it required further testing to confirm. Prayers were fervent for this woman, intercessory prayers requested from all over. The news after testing was even more grim. The family was devastated - preparing themselves for the "what ifs" that just became their reality. Working through an initial mourning at an impending loss that would take away a wife, a mother, a grandmother... then, a bit later the same day, another call. The final pathology this time shared a different story - "it's not cancer after all..." he said. Yes, I'm told it was a roller coaster of emotion.
That same evening, in looking at the San Damiano Cross icon, our priest was pointing out a few of the icon images - "and here's Lazarus with the burial cloths wrapped still on his head". And, just then we spoke of how this family had suffered a loss, and gained a life back in the same day. In their eyes, truly a miracle.
How often have we suffered a death, only to have the gift of life given back to us in the Lord's immeasurable mercy, and we don't even see it? This "good news" that was shared with this family, and within our parish truly has given us a fresh look at appreciating those around us, and finding life after death. When I see a newly baptized member of our church, it is such a heartwarming moment of "new life". The same when seeing a married couple that can renew their life of love, after years of challenges, and the priest through the mercy of God absolving us of the deadness of sin, through the healing or "life-giving" sacrament of Reconciliation. The story of Lazarus really gives us the opportunity to see how precious our lives are, and how much we are loved.
So today, at the end of July, I received my little "life" moment. After viewing more films, the radiologist assured us that there was nothing there, I was fine. While I do not want to make something out of nothing, I am so thankful for this gift I received. Looking at life a little differently, not for worries sake; for the opportunity to look around and appreciate even more the grace that I am given each day I live my life, and every blessing I receive.