Download PDF

I took a moment the other day and briefly allowed/dared to ask myself the question, “What if Trey never got cancer?  What would my life look like?  The answer may surprise you.

As it is with most things emotionally related for me, the response was fast and frenetic. However, it came with quite clarity.   I envisioned myself in an almost literal drowning state, trying to keep my head above life’s waters.  Mind you, this is what I theorized life would be like it Trey DID NOT have cancer.

My arms were flailing, my legs kicking.  I would be doing everything I could to make sure that everything was ok.  Money, jobs, family health, status, purpose, all these things would be consuming me.  I would be killing it just to keep everything “in control.”  I would still be pretending that beauty, the beauty of life, lies on the surface or “on top.”

“If I can just get on top of things.”  “If I can just get into top shape physically.”  “Our finances have to be on top of our priority list.”  Top this, top that, keep from going “under” struggle struggle struggle.  That’s where I would be…for sure.

Which begs the question…where am I?  I’m underneath man, way underneath.  In just about all of those categories I have seen them crumble.  The result?  I have found beauty.

The beauty of life lies underneath.  I suppose it always has.  You could say to me, “Really?  I can think of several great things that are beautiful that don’t have pain, disappointment, etc. attached to it.”  I’m sure you can.  However, I would counter that what lies underneath is more beautiful.  A wedding?  You see “the happiest day of their lives.”  I see two people, struggling through life being given to one another to love each other.  Childbirth?  You see a beautiful baby born sinless and full of life.  I see a mother going through 9 months of change to her body culminating in horrific pain as the baby is being introduced to this world.  I see the love two people have (or should have) for each other being manifest in a new creation beginning a life centered around loving and giving ones life away to this child.

The beauty lies underneath.  It lies in the ICU where a young boy with cancer fights for his life and a tear comes down his face when we give him his taggie and stroke his hair.  It lies in thousands of people being moved to pray for family on the edge of losing a loved one.  It lies in countless people meeting our needs just as we realize we need them or, very often, just before.  It lies in a word of encouragement, support, or great comfort so perfectly timed it would never make it in a movie at is simply not plausible.  It lies in magical moments in the midst of darkness bringing about a contrast so stark that it can’t possibly be ignored.

Had Trey not had cancer, I wouldn’t know these things.  I would still be trying to manufacture the beauty of life rather than finding it.  I would be scrambling to keep myself from going “under.”  I would be doing all that I could to stay on top rather than finding the beauty underneath.

Share This