Have you ever wanted to blame someone for something? To say - the reason I am going through all this pain and agony is because of YOU, or even ME. At least I can point the finger, narrow it down and say THIS, this is what caused all of this and now i'm going to avoid it.
Just recently I have met a young lady who miraculously has gone through exactly what I am going through right now. It's a blessing for a few reasons, the first because 10 in 100,000 people in my age category are diagnosed with this disease every year. Second because she loves Jesus too, and not only does she get exactly what I'm going through, but she asks really good questions, and makes strong points.
We were talking about the temptation to blame. The temptation to demand an answer to WHY? Especially why ME? When I'm sitting, and reflecting I can't help but thinking - ok, if there is this huge mass on my chest of cancer how did I not notice? The inevitable answer comes back with hindsight being 20/20. I hear something like you knew. You saw the strange signs, and symptoms. You were just scared to deal with it. Maybe that's true. Can I list my symptoms? Yes, but so can any website talking about Lymphoma. In all honesty - I was feeling off, I thought I had a cold which was affecting my ability to swallow, and something weird going on with the lymph nodes in my thigh - but my doctor assured me they were nothing to be concerned about. So, I can't really blame myself - can I blame someone else?
I suppose I could blame my doctor, or even both doctors I saw before I was diagnosed who brushed off the symptoms as something less - but it's not really their fault either. I tend to be a hypochondriac, my doctor's first instinct with me is always "calm down Jana" and she's usually right.
I could look to blame something I ate, or something I didn't eat. I could blame not getting enough exercise, or maybe getting too much. I could blame my job for being stressful, for relationships that over the past year have fallen apart, failures I've had in dealing with my kids, my sometimes crushing awkwardness in social situations, my quick bite and lashing out in anger in the privacy of my van. Sure - I suppose it could be any of those things - or none of them.
I mean at least we can look at a heavy smoker with lung cancer and say really clever, helpful things like "Well what did you expect?" I mean, that always makes US feel better, or safe or something.
If I can't find something to blame for this cancer - what am I going to point others toward blaming?
So, when I'm out and I've forgotten that my hair is gone, and when someone stares at me with a mixture of horror and painful compassion I can almost hear what they are thinking...
"Dear God, what did she do to end up where she is??" I know - I'm not claiming I'm clairvoyant - it's what I was arrogant enough to think to myself. It's then I realize I'm not so different...
And his disciples asked him, “Rabbi, who sinned, this man or his parents, that he was born blind? Jesus answered, “It was not that this man sinned, or his parents, but that the works of God might be displayed in him. We must work the works of him while it is day; night is coming, when no one can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world. Having said these things; he spit on the ground and made mud with the saliva. Then he anointed ht man’s eyes with mud and said to him, “Go, wash in the pool of Siloam.” (Which means sent). So he went and washed and came back seeing.”
John 9: 2 – 8
There it is. There's nothing to blame, no one to blame - not even me. There's no silver bullet, there's no quick cure. This is just the journey my feet are walking, and the very best part is, I'm not alone. I can walk, my hand in the very hand of God (though sometimes I feel like I'm just hanging on to his robes from behind) and trust him to lead me. Past, present and in to the future. To take off blame, and leave it where it is. There's no point taking it with me.