Tuesday, October 1, 2013

God's Will and the Wisdom of Cancer

It’s a question you might hear in Cancer Land. It might be sobbed or yelled or most often whispered.

Is a cancer diagnosis God’s will? How do we know what’s God’s will is?

Part of the wisdom in Alcoholics Anonymous says that, “God’s will is what is.” That cryptic comment is often expanded by this injunction to see God’s will: “Leave your house in the morning and start walking, when you hit a wall turn left. Keep going and when you hit a wall, turn left.”

Another way of discerning God’s will that I like and that I try to remember is this: “Get up each day and leave your house. When you come to a door that opens easily go through it and when you come to a door that doesn’t open or that you might shove or lean your shoulder against, don’t go through that one.”

I like that last description because I have shoved my way through so many doors (relationships, jobs, hairstyles) that I regretted later, when the saner, healthier (God’s will) (relationship, job, hairstyle) was just over there.

But cancer is hard to discern this way. It’s a very hard door. Does shoving against cancer mean fighting it like mad with every surgery, treatment and chemical? Or are the traditional protocols the “easy” and acceptable way? Is it harder to say no to chemo or surgery or opinions?

Can cancer be a curative as well as cured? Can it be a door to go through of itself? Marion Woodman in her cancer journal, “Bone” shows how cancer became her therapist and a healer of other injuries in her life. Is that doing it the hard way as well? Or is that secondary healing and secondary gain some of God’s will too?

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