For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.
I Corinthians 13:12
I can't think of a time when this particular verse has been more real to me. There are so many unanswered questions and there isn't any definitive answers this side of heaven. Why did things happen the way they did? Why is there so much sickness and disease? Why is there even such a thing as cancer?
Sure, I know the pat answers.. and it pretty much all boils down to Adam and Eve and a sly snake with some fresh fruit... but there are times when that is simply not a good enough answer.
Why? It's the unanswerable question. Anyone who has ever spent any time around a 3 year old can attest that there is no running out of the WHY. For every answer to every WHY there is yet another WHY. Sometimes even punctuated with a BUT WHY?
Cheryl Pruitt Salem experienced the unthinkable. She lost her daughter to a brain tumor. I heard her speak after that and she said something that stuck with me. I think of it often these days. She said she went through her season of WHY? And realized that every answer God could give her could be followed up with another WHY. And soon she realized that even if God spelled it out for her, explained all that His plan was doing in her, in her family, in people she had never met... even in her little girl who was enjoying Heaven... even if God gave her every detail and she saw clearly... That answer would still not be good enough. "But God, why?? Surely you could have found another way to accomplish all of that?"
I'm like Cheryl. I cannot think of a good enough reason for Mom to not be with me, with us right now. So I am left with the choice to trust Him. Because I can't see. As that scripture says, I can only see a part.
Speaking of seeing, Daddy is seeing a little more clearly tonight. Even if he is sporting quite the new age pirate eye patch. We joke that he had a Cadillac removed from his eye today.. and as dense as his cataract was, that might not be too far from the truth.
Even this afternoon, just a few hours after the surgery, and only able to peak out of the little holes in his eye patch, he was already amazed at how much bluer the sky was. He was seeing a little more clearly. As the days go on, I think he will be even more surprised at how much better he will see. And more to the point, how little he WAS seeing... thinking he was seeing it all.
I read a quote by Johnny Depp tonight.. and although he probably isn't my go to philosopher, I did like this one:
You can close your eye's to the things you don't want to see, but you can't close your heart to the things you don't want to feel.
And this afternoon, I could tell that even as Daddy was seeing things more clearly, his heart was feeling things a little more clearly too.
He was missing mom. He had just had surgery and her absence was all the more noticeable.
She would have been rushing around taking such good care of him. She would have been filling out all the paperwork and asking all the right questions of the doctors and nurses. She would have made him the perfect comfort food.
But then again, she was sick. She was the one that needed to be taken care of.
Two or three times this afternoon.. Daddy would miss her. Then he would realize that cancer had stolen so much from her, that she couldn't do what she would have wanted to do for him. And then he would come to the painful realization that she was in a much better place, complete and whole and coaching us kids on what to do to make everything almost as good as she would have done it.
He was seeing a little clearer.. but hurting a little more. What ended up being best for her.. what delivered her from the pain of cancer, delivered all of us into a mess of pain that we are still working through.
BUT, there is more to that scripture... it says that we shall see face to face. (Mom is now seeing face to face now. She knows all the WHY's and she gets it.... To tell the truth, I think God had already shown her while she was still with us.. which is why she was so peaceful.) It also says that we only know in part right now. We only see a small piece of the puzzle. We are basically looking through the holes in daddy's snazzy white and silver eye patch. We can't see the whole picture but we try to fill in the blanks as best we can. Sometimes, most times, we are wrong.. But we keep trying.
And here's the good part...
Even though we only know a part right now... when we are face to face we will know fully... We will know everything there is to know. We won't have to ask God all those questions we keep saying we are going to ask when we get to Heaven because We. Will. Just. Know. And how will we know?
We will know fully... just like He fully knows us now. He knows everything about us. He knows how many hairs on our heads. He knows what we can handle. He knows us more completely than our parents, than our spouse.. He. Knows. Us. is what I'm saying.
I find that so comforting. Even as God had a plan for Mom, He also has a plan for me.. for Daddy, for my brothers, for her sisters, for her grandkids.. And he knows each of us better than we even know ourselves.. And He will work good in all situations.. Even in this most terrible and unbearable of situations.
We just can't see it yet... maybe because we all have Cadillacs in our eyes.