A woman leaving a 22 year marriage. A young mother diagnosed with cancer. An aunt wasting away with an agressive tumour. A woman getting that phone call that tells her the father of her children has died.
What do all of these things have in common, besides being unthinkably sad? Unfair? Grievous? Painful?
These are all people I know.
A friend of mine has chosen to walk through the fire with someone. This girl has, in the last year or so, been diagnosed with cancer, has found her mother ravaged with the same disease, and is now in the beginning stages of wading into grief, as the father of her girls was killed in a car accident a couple of weeks ago. My friend expressed to me how helpless she feels. She asked me, "what do I say, or do...or explain to her about life? How do I dare to say life happens as it should...and that everything is working together for good?"
In a lightbulb moment, I responded with something that could only be a God thought, a divine revelation...clarity.
You don't have to do or say anything. You are the palm tree in the storm. Your purpose is to remain still..stationary, fixed. In this life we are different things at different times...sometimes we are the palm tree, sometimes we are the debris, and sometimes, we are in fact, the storm.
When a cyclone whips a life into disrepair...when it destroys familiarity, safety and faith...there is a refuge, and that is shockingly, at the middle of the storm. The place we know as the Eye in meteorological terms. In human terms...I believe it's the Soul. As Wikipedia explains:
"In strong tropical cyclones, the eye is characterized by light winds and clear skies, surrounded on all sides by a towering, symmetric eyewall."
The storm can rage all around...but there is a refuge. If the storm has beaten you past the possibility of faith...if the Eye inside you has been lost due to a tidalwave of epic circumstances, then might I challenge you...find a palm tree. Find someone with deep roots...someone who bends with the storm, but remains fixed, and strong and provides shelter for you.
Someone did that for me not so long ago...he caught me as I was defenseless against the elements. In a blink, he was gone. In a second my life is different. Today I am grateful for his friendship....and I am overcome with the lesson, " At the moment of your greatest challenge, is also presented your greatest opportunity".
Thank you Michael...I know who I need to be. xo