looking through me

good…always

I backed out of the parking space. My shoulders tensed as I white-knuckled the steering wheel.

Through clenched teeth I murmured, “God, You were good yesterday. You are good today. You will be good tomorrow.”

I needed to hear the words. I needed to remember that the unexpected phone call and the unfolding reality changed nothing about the goodness of God. I repeated the words over and over on my way to the hospital.

Life may have shifted from standard to uncertain in seconds, but God’s goodness remained constant. Circumstances couldn’t—cannot—change it.

Almost two weeks later, I see the increased effects of Dad’s brain tumor diagnosis.

The man with perfect writing can barely use his right hand. He can’t grip a pen. He can’t direct his fingers to the desired letters on a keyboard. He can’t pick up his grandchildren. He eats left-handed. I put his watch on for him and clean his glasses. He wears slip-on shoes to avoid tying laces.

The man with a sonorous bass sat in the congregation on Good Friday instead of in the choir. He slowly shapes slurred words.

The man with a servant’s heart has been banished from helping with dishes in the kitchen or tearing down tables after a party. Instead he hears, “What are you doing? Do you need help? I’ll do that.”

Yet, God is good.

He was good before the tumor was present. He was good when the tumor arrived without symptoms. He was good when the growth and swelling began interfering with normalcy. He is good as we wait for surgical intervention. And He will be good regardless of the clinical outcome.

I roll my tense shoulders back and down. I try to slow my rapid, shallow breaths. Life may not feel good. Life may not be good.

But God is good.

Always.

 


Note: This was written early in the week prior to Dad’s appointment with the neurosurgeon Wednesday morning. After two days taking steroids to reduce the swelling, his speech is nearing normal and his hand is not normal but has regained some function. He has a tentative surgery date of Monday, May 1. We appreciate your prayers in the waiting.

 

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living in memories

I slid the egg into my coat pocket and headed out the door.

Its cold presence pricked my memory and reminded me of Grandpa taking hard-boiled eggs in his lunch when he worked as a church custodian. I pictured Grandma standing in front of the open refrigerator, hand hesitating in midair, a tiny smile curling the corners of her mouth before she grabbed an egg and placed it in Grandpa’s lunch pail.

I’m sure she grinned all morning in anticipation of the moment he’d be sitting on the couch, chatting with Max, unpacking his lunch. She knew he used the wooden piece on the top of the arm to crack his eggs. I wonder if she had more fun imagining his shock at cracking open a raw egg or him frantically trying to clean egg off the couch’s upholstery.

She never could tell the story without dissolving into laughter. It tickled her every time . . . it took a few years before it tickled Grandpa, though even in his exasperation he couldn’t help but smile and shake his head at the delight it brought her.

This morning I noticed my own smile as I reached for the egg in my pocket. It was hard boiled, but I cracked it in the break room and peeled it over the trash can anyway.

 

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