Devastating Illness

2 Dec

“Every sickness has an alien quality, a feeling of invasion and loss of control that is evident in the language we use about it.”  ~ Siri Hustvedt

Sick.  Ill.  Not well.  Indisposed.  Whatever the word, the reality is that something is not right in a person and that they are facing illness.  We all face illnesses in our lives.  Most of them are the small garden-variety type; e.g., colds, the flu, chicken pox, et cetera.  Sometimes, though, the illness can be larger and much more devastating; e.g., cancer, Parkinson’s, ALS, et cetera.

When big illnesses strike us or someone we love, a lot of things happen.  Many times, people begin to question God.  They may be terribly angry at Him.  They may even deny His existence, claiming that if He actually existed, they would not be sick.  That hurt and anger and frustration are a natural part of severe illness.  In many ways, they mimic the same stages of grief.

When a person can come to grips with his or her illness, then the real work of fighting the sickness begins.  Many people do all that they can to rally their forces to face whatever ails them.  They also rally family and friends to be a support structure as they go through whatever treatment may be required.

Facing devastating illness is never easy for a person and the person’s family and friends.  However, facing devastating illness at the holidays often makes things feel ten times worse.  At this time of year, let us be mindful that there are many people who are not well as we are.  Some may be fighting for their lives.  We are called to be there for them and to give them all the support that they may need.

FAITH ACTION:  Pray for those who are facing devastating illnesses, that they may receive from God the grace and strength that they need to cope.