Fellow seekers of Truth,
Since it’s Sunday, I don’t doubt for a minute that you all made it to Mass this morning. 😉 Excepting, perhaps, the occasional one or two with extenuating circumstances. So, for those one or two — as well as the many who, like me, tend to sleep while the lector is at the ambo, I thought it might be a helpful idea on my part to post today’s first reading from the sixteenth chapter of Exodus.
Then I read it.
Maybe, if you’ve got a really big appetite for Bible talk, you’d want to read the whole thing; but I suppose that if you’re one of those people, you were probably awake when it was read at Mass. Myself, I only caught a sliver of it while I was fighting to keep my eyes open, and for me, one sliver is plenty — so I’ll post that.
What is this? (Ex. 16, 15)
You know, that’s the very question I’ve had on my mind since Pam was diagnosed. That question, and a few of that question’s cousins like, “How do you expect us to deal with this?”, “Do you actually expect us figure out how this fits in with life as we knew it?” and “Really, God, what are you trying to pull?”
I hope you won’t be insulted when I tell you something you’ve probably known and understood since Fourth Grade religion class, but “What is this?” translates to ‘manna’. Manna, manna, manna — manna, the bread from heaven. For some cocamamie reason, God got it into Her head that this brain tumor trip is our bread, that it’s supposed to feed us. Feed our souls, perhaps. Feed our desire to be loving, and joyous, and grateful.
That God, what a kidder!
Trying to figure out why God would place such a dreadful obstacle to health into the life of a woman as young, as lively, as full of drive and purpose as my darling Pamela is one hell of a head scratcher. A real puzzle!
It’s a puzzle; but, when you slow down and think about it, it’s a puzzle with a couple of clues. One clue is the realization that neither Pam, nor I, nor anyone in our family, nor any member of that army of wonderful people who love Pam is actually all that important. I’m not going to spend any time asking God, “Why me?” or “Why Pam?” because I already know the answer. I’ve always known the answer. The answer is, “Why not?”
The other clue is that all those cherished plans Pam and I have had to put on hold since we got the surprising news are plans that never had any guarantee of bringing happiness anyway. For all I know, Pam and I are going to find more happiness dedicating ourselves to the task of putting some dignity into a battle with cancer that we would ever have found in the work of fattening up our retirement accounts.
All of this chat puts me in mind of a lyric of John Lennon, “Life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans.”
What is this? I really have no idea; but while we’re sorting it all out it’s going to have to be, “Out with busy, in with life.”