Saturday, February 8, 2014

There but for the Grace of God go I



I can remember as a child, being raised in a Catholic family, hearing the phrase "there, but for the grace of God, go I" . My Mother would exclaim it on numerous occasions, usually whenever she saw another person with a serious medical condition. My Mother was pretty predictable and if I happened to be with her when a person in a wheelchair went by, I counted down the seconds until the phrase came out of her mouth.
On some level, it made me worry a great deal about being in God's good graces.

Fast forward to the present moment.
At least once a month I have to report to the local cancer treatment center to have a medical phlebotomy. I have a genetic condition which builds up too much iron in my body which if left untreated, is life threatening. The only way to lower my iron levels is to remove blood. In a way, I find this humorous because I have always been afraid of needles and blood tests. I can only surmise that there is some greater plan in this experience and perhaps that involves overcoming my fears. I know the experience has made me stronger.

Each month as I am taken back to the "treatment room" , I am surrounded by cancer patients receiving chemotherapy. I am sure I stand out because I look very healthy in comparison to the very sick people surrounding me. My heart wells with compassion. They are all so quiet, the patients, and I wonder to myself  what emotions they are feeling. I see their families sitting with them supporting them and I think about how love is such a key element in life. In my mind I am struck by how each patient gives opportunity for their loved ones to demonstrate love," in sickness and in health".  Each and every one of them are a survivor and each and every one of them inspire me.

I am able to observe the wonderful staff of nurses who go about their jobs with a caring and positive attitude and I wonder if they fully realize how angelic their mission in life truly is. I have come to understand how much they really care about the well-being of their patients.  I know I am being forced to go to the cancer center but these nurses choose to. Surely their souls arranged for an opportunity in life to express such love and compassion.

There is a woman who is there every time I go and she checks in with each patient, offering drinks or a snack and asking if there is anything she can do for them. She has a stash of hand made afghans somewhere and she offers them to the patients. I heard her say that each one has been prayed over as it was created. I am in awe of her kindness.

I know if you could view this room from a spiritual plane, you would come to realize that all the souls present are there for some purpose of their soul's evolution.  I think about the phrase "There but for the grace of God go I" and I know,without question, this room is filled with God's Grace.