1457. Macbeth says “It is a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury signifying nothing.” ~William Shakespeare

What’s it all about, Alfie?
Is it just for the moment we live?
~Burt Bacharach

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At times a heavy shoe falls again and again in an endless succession and brings down things we’ve never seen coming, never wanted to have to face, and never know quite how to process. Prior to this I posted a piece I wrote exactly 5 years ago today. I had recovered from a stroke almost a year before I wrote it, and life seemed to hold lots of promise and welcome wonderment back then. How quickly, however, the tide can turn that sends one reeling upon uncharted waters full of pain, trials, fears, and questions about life such as: are your days racing to an end imminently, have you lived the life that was given you well, and can you still find purpose in whatever remains you?

After a weighty, burdensome shoe came crashing down in my life last March with the discovery of breast cancer, 6 months later shoe after shoe continues to fall, each one seemingly more challenging than the last. And though I know and feel the Lord’s hand written all over these events, I keep wondering if I have the “stuff” it takes to put one foot in front of the other with grace, humility, and dignified faith despite the pain, the fears, and the unnerving realities. When one looks back over 7 decades of living, he/she can surely see moments when God’s hand of grace brought him/her through countless “rings of fire.” And of course the ONLY appropriate response is gratitude which really should be in place at the time the trials are taking place but if not most certainly in the aftermath! But interestingly in the throes of trials, he/she often curses those difficult moments, bemoans what has befallen him/her, and entertains the idea that life really is a “tale told by an idiot, signifying nothing” only to realize later that there was divine design and purpose in all that had transpired.

So it is tonight that I’m sitting and thinking on such things after having been sent to the hospital because I nearly passed out in the yard yesterday. My blood pressure was dropping lower and lower, and at first it was assumed it had something to do with the doctor’s recent concern about possible heart problems. But as the day progressed, other “shoes” new and more daunting became apparent. For it seems that since August 20th when I wrote about the lung nodule that was of concern, my hemoglobin has dropped four points indicating that I’m bleeding somewhere in my GI tract. Consequently I had to stay overnight in the hospital so I could be given a blood transfusion while more tests were being run revealing that my potassium levels are low and my white cell blood count is half of what it should be. Now, though back home this evening, more doctor appointments beginning tomorrow loom on the horizon as well as more tests and more concerns about what it all means. And as I write this my arms are bruised from all the needle sticks, my psyche is bruised, and I find myself contemplating “what it all means Alfie” (a favorite line from an old movie) as well as doing my best to heed this line of Scripture below.

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! ~Philippians 4:4 ✝

129. To be surprised, to wonder, is to begin to understand. ~José Ortega y Gasset

But the sower going forth
to sow seeds sets foot in time to come,
the seeds, falling on his own place.
He has prepared a way for his life
to come to him, if it will.
~Wendell Berry


Like master gardener and writer, June Santon, “When I see that first, minuscule, curled, pale green wisp of a sprout poking up between a couple of grains of vermiculite, I hear God speaking.”  But then again, it’s really more than just hearing Him speak.  It is connecting with Him in a way unlike anything else because when sowing a seed, like Him, it is creating life.  After all we are made in the image of our Creator God, and so we too have the ability to create.  My particular palette is made up of photographs and words and seeds and plants whereas someone else’s may be notes of music, globs of paint, utensils in a kitchen, pieces of metal, blocks of wood.  The possibilities go on and on because we are not only capable of creating with objects but also with the very essence of who and what we are, as with teachers and ministers and parents.

I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well.  ~Psalm 139:13-15  ✝