I just found out that a dear friend has stage 3 cancer. I don’t even know what that means, except that she had surgery yesterday, and I was told by another friend to pray, pray, pray.(For privacy I am not putting her name, but she doesn’t live in Chicago.)
I used to live with her in a farmhouse in Hatfield, Massachusetts, and it just so happens that another friend, Ani, just emailed me a picture of sunset from her porch tonight in Hatfield, where Ani still lives.
The earth is such a beautiful place, filled with life. And life is impermanent.That is so scary, in part because of all we love and don’t want to lose.
I had a cancer scare myself a couple years ago. It didn’t turn out to be cancer, but it sure generated some serious thought about the nature of my life. Would I change it if I knew I had a very limited time to live? Usually I think I have another 40 or 50 years to live, and a person can get a lot done in 40 to 50 years. That feels so abundant! But what if I don’t have that long?
I want to say this out loud, (or write it down, as it were), that the big fear that rises up in me is that I would lose her, my friend. Of course that is the biggest and first fear. But that may not happen at all. It is entirely possible that she heal from this surgery and from this cancer. I know that many of my readers have also experienced cancer in your own bodies, or in the bodies of your loved ones. So this prayer is also for all of you and all those you love.
I imagine my friend strong and whole and healed, and pray for that, imagining life, and sodzo (healing, salvation, rescue, wholeness), and shalom (peace, well-being, completeness, safety.) This is my prayer.
I am going to do yoga now, and dedicate it to my friend’s sodzo and shalom. I know that we are each part of something so much larger than our-selves. And that large something is the wholeness of God. We cannot escape from it. We are safe in it. Embraced in the sunset pictured here. Embraced in the arms of God.