By Roberta C. Bondi
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Extra resources for A Place to Pray: Reflections on the Lord's Prayer
As those first days passed and Melissa's time continued to be taken up with preparations for her treatment, my shock began to be replaced by a growing dread of the pain I knew she had ahead of her. At the same time, though I was deeply ashamed of feeling sorry for my own pain in the face of what she was preparing for, I was grieving for myself. Finally, the day came when we could spend real time together. It was soon after her first chemotherapy treatment. Her hair was already almost all gone, but even under my fanatical scrutiny, she looked like herself.
She is grieving for everything and everybody she may be losing. As for me, the promise that "all shall be well and all manner of things shall be well" does not begin to explain away or lessen the reality of Melissa's suffering and grief or of my own. I find myself suddenly bursting into tears in the most embarrassing of places. Kingdom or no Kingdom, how can I even begin to think of waking up in the morning to know that she is gone? My only consolation is that the God who loves us as friends shared and still shares firsthand in suffering like Melissa's and my own.
Because the Lord called me into ministry a long time ago, and I said I'd do it," he answered again. "I have to stick by what I promised. " Stumped, I sat there a little while and thought about the idea that praying "your will be done" could be translated into the idea that the God of Jesus would make somebody devote his entire life to doing something he hated. "Tell me about when you think you were called," I said at last. He hesitated, looking a little sheepish, then he started to talk. "It was like this," he began.