Above: Fun visit to Brookfield Zoo Jan. 31, 2012
It was a strange feeling today, walking down the halls of the fourth floor at the Prentiss Women’s Hospital on the Northwestern University Hospital campus. Just a routine check-up for me, but the smells, the surroundings, the sounds, the sights brought back a flood of memories.
Upon arriving, there were the familiar, friendly faces of nursing staff, doctors, workers, volunteers. And there were the patients. Some were passing the time by looking at magazines and giving the appearance of waiting calmly; but, no doubt, many minds were filled with questions, anxious to hear what news might be awaiting them. This is the oncology department, isn’t it? Who are we kidding?
On the other side of the waiting room sit the ones patiently waiting for their chemotherapy infusions. Many faces filled with exhaustion, weariness, fear. Ah, one bright face amidst them. Her eyes sparkled. She was full of hope. Not afraid to go without a wig or hat despite no hair in sight, her confidence shone through; and the look in her eyes told me she was determined to fight this battle.
Dark faces, bright faces, sad eyes, questioning eyes. All these--reminders that cancer is an ugly disease.
I’m so thankful to know the One who holds me in the palm of His hand. He controls my circumstances. He knows my future. And amidst dismal surroundings, the powerful words of this song become very personal.
In heavenly love abiding, no change my heart shall fear;
And safe is such confiding, for nothing changes here:
The storm may roar without me, my heart may low be laid;
But God is round about me, and can I be dismayed?
Wherever He may guide me, no want shall turn me back;
My Shepherd is beside me, and nothing can I lack.
His wisdom ever waketh, His sight is never dim:
He knows the way He taketh, and I will walk with Him.
Green pastures are before me, which yet I have not seen;
Bright skies will soon be o’er me, where darkest clouds have been.
My hope I cannot measure: my path to life is free;
My Saviour has my treasure, and He will walk with me.
("In Heavenly Love Abiding" text by Anna Waring, 1850)