Monday, March 7, 2011

Being Carried By God

On February 26, I lost Ceal, my beloved wife of 18 years, to cancer. It was barely a month between the time we found out she had cancer to her final day. Through that time, she was the same cheerful, loving person I have known for the past 25 years.

I know this is a time when people can feel angry, especially at God, for taking such a beautiful person from us. While I don't pretend to know how God does things, I think I tend to believe what I have heard Lloyd Lee Wilson say, which is that God is the ultimate opportunist. That is, we don't have to blame God for bad things, or assume that God wants awful things to happen in order to accomplish a grand plan, but we can look for God working in any situation, no matter how difficult.

Through the times in the hospital and at home, Ceal and I felt the presence of God with us very strongly. Despite some awful times, Ceal kept her sweet demeanor. She seemed so at peace, especially at the end, and never seemed to show any fear of what was ahead. I remember thinking back to that "Footprints" poem where a person is looking back over their life and seeing it as footprints in the sand, and during the tough times there is only one set of footprints, and when the person asks Jesus why he wasn't there during those times, he says "That is when I carried you". We experienced what it felt like to be carried, and I know I need a lot more carrying before I can walk again on my own.


  1. thanks so much for sharing these reflections, Mark. You've been in my thoughts & prayers, and those of Charleston (WV) Friends, who were so recently blessed by your work on early Friends and the Light.

    Susan J.

  2. I am so sorry you lost your wife and pray that you will continue to be carried by God. Thank you for your beautiful faith and sharings. Kathy