Tag Archives: cancer


How would I paint suffering?

I’d choose a palette infused with browns and reds.

I’d squeeze onions to wet the watercolors,

warpaint under my eyes to battle with the canvas.

I’d paint with acrylics in an airtight closet

and one fifteen-watt incandescent bulb.

No smiling scratch-n-sniff.

No fruity tones.

No bouquets.

I’d lick the spongy tips to moisten them,

the venom of pepper-vinegar affixed to my tongue.

I’d whip bold, plucky, cutting strokes,

hurrying to finish and flip to the other side.

I’d not use paint at all, but spread gritty chalks on a new, black board,

screeching as they give themselves to the art.

I’d look away, toward the finished image of perfection,

the box-top of a jigsaw puzzle.

I’d finger-paint, boiling the colors to singe my fingertips,

adding blood to the red

and body to the brown.

Then I’d hammer nails in its hands and hang it high for all to see,

the beauty redeeming the pain.


My Utmost – The Trial of Faith

If you have faith as a mustard seed . . . nothing will be impossible for you —Matthew 17:20


i really thought that i could die

give up my life for the One gave His

believed in my heart and my mind’s eye

though He slay me, yet i will trust Him


but then He chose not to heal her pain

to bring her home and leave us here alone

my faith saw healing that never came

a glorious plan that he didn’t condone


i’ve always trusted that His ways weren’t mine

His plan always worked together for good

i never questioned that He would do right

i thought i trusted, thought i understood


but faith is not my getting because i believe

it’s not by my trust that He accomplishes His will

it’s about my surrender to what i can’t see

it’s allowing Him to control while i am still


though He slay me or mine, i will trust His ways

my anger and hurt He is able to console

so i worship Him and trust Him for all of my days

to be involved in my part of His perfect whole




no pain…but gain

Originally posted 10/21/10

Many of you who know me know the struggle we’ve been facing as our good friend Jennifer has been fighting cancer.  (You can read more about it on her blog at http://jennsstory.wordpress.com.  If you’re not already familiar with her blog, I encourage you to go read it.  Now.  I’ll still be here when you get back…)

As a result of her struggle, I wrote the following sonnet a few days before she passed. I’m sharing it here because it helped me process what’s been going on, but mostly I’m sharing it here because it gives me an opportunity to point others to her blog. (See note above.  If you haven’t done so yet, please visit her blog now.  You will not regret it.)


the fear of death is a sense of falling

the dread of emptiness is a bad dream

lonely moods are an echoing canyon

futile thoughts flow in a reflecting stream

vexed with God for His meaningless purpose

angry with sin for its masterful aims

perplexing wonders of this fragile shell

sublime secrets of delicate remains

our bodies are temples, destroyed, rebuilt

our forms of worship, demolished, reborn

today’s faith is the sun gently cresting

tomorrow’s hope, the arrival of morn

healing or passing is life without pain

living or dying is Christ or it’s gain

We will miss you, Jenn.  But as my friend Tom recently reminded me, you now know to be true what we here can only believe.

Grace and peace,