A few times each week, I walk home from work. The six-mile walk takes two hours, plenty of time to decompress and entertain the hundreds of notions drifting through my mind. My mind begins a journey of its own as I ponder the great mystery of life. I wonder about life and its purpose, and death and its purpose. Is this life all there is or is there something more, perhaps another place we go after we die?
My walk is my sanctuary. I meander along the water’s edge, the river breeze moving through my mind, body and soul like a velvet massage, and I reflect. Sometimes I laugh at silly dogs playing fetch with their human counterparts. And sometimes I sit on the stairs leading down to the water and cry until I’m empty; and tired.
Yesterday, as I walked I became mesmerized by a cluster of clouds above. An opening in the middle allowed the sun to peek through giving way to rays of translucent beams of light which stretched over the skyline, reaching to the river’s surface.
Throughout my life, whenever I have witnessed such clouds, I have imagined God reaching down, spreading love and healing in the hearts of those in need. I remembered that yesterday as I walked along the water’s edge and my heart filled with comfort, reassurance and peace. I became enveloped in love for myself, God, my husband Chris, life and all humanity. I was overcome with great sadness and resign, all consuming euphoria…and forgiveness. Gazing at the clouds, I softly spoke the words, “I forgive you, God.”
Moments later, a sun shower illuminated the green, soaking the grass and walkways, creating ripples on the river. I watched from under the shelter of an immense weeping willow tree for the duration of the ten-minute sodden interlude, reflecting on my anger at all that has passed and all that is to come without Chris by my side to share my life. I thought about the horrors of illness; the sadness and helplessness of those who have witnessed them and those who have experienced them first-hand.
I know bad things happen. I know they always will. My husband, my best friend in the world, exited my life just when I learned I had the capacity to love wholly and selflessly, and now I know I have the capacity to bestow divine forgiveness.
My heart is broken. I laugh every day. I cry every night. I still love Chris with every fiber of my being and I wonder if our deceased loved ones remain in our lives, guiding and protecting us.
Yesterday, walking along the river gazing at the clouds, my “God-clouds”, I learned I still have room in my heart where I previously believed there was none, to forgive and to accept that God did not cause Chris’ cancer and then take him away from me, rather, he saw Chris’ cancer and welcomed him into the healing Kingdom.
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