I found out a couple of days ago that a colleague of mine, Rev. Kathleen Baskin-Ball, has decided to enter hospice care instead of continuing to fight the cancer that has now invaded her brain.
It made me sad. She has a 5-year-old son and wonderful husband. She is a young, dynamic pastor with a gift for preaching and leading. Her graciousness and non-anxious presence is an absolute blessing.
It also made me mad. Mad at cancer, and mad because I can't figure this out. I'm frustrated that rain falls on the just and unjust alike. I've cried off and on these past few days, and I'm not sure whether more for sadness or frustration.
I don't know Kathleen well enough necessarily to go and visit her--I've experienced her in only a few personal ways. She came and was a presenter to my clergy group with the Texas Methodist Foundation. I've spoken to her at various church events. She knows my husband. But there are many many many who will want to be with her in whatever time she has left. And so I will pray and perhaps send a sign of love. Her husband said that when she was first diagnosed with the cancer, people from her church hung signs of love and healing from the trees outside of her house. What a beautiful gift.
Maybe I cry because her death will be beautiful, but it will involve loss of so many kinds for us. Maybe I cry because it's a time to cry and perhaps soon we will be facing time to grieve. Maybe I cry so that when it's time to celebrate resurrection, I will be able to do that without tears. Probably not, but believe in resurrection I must.
I preached today about the power of God given to us all wrapped up in the grace of God bestowed upon us. It is the same power that raised Jesus, that power that dwells within us. My prayer is that Kathleen and those surrounding her might know in whatever time she has, this power is for healing and not for harm...so that they might know the presence of God is and will always be with them.
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