One of my friends is sick.
Not in the “drink a cup of tea and get some rest,” kind of way, but in the surgeries and doctors and hospitals kind of way. The kind of sick where all you can do is pray but you don’t even know how to pray so sometimes you just cry and say their name and look at pictures of them and cry some more and let people hug you and cry even more.
The kind of sick where suddenly every moment of every day suddenly has a lot of weight because you realize that one day you could have a headache and a few days later you’re having surgery on a tumor in your brain. One minute life can be normal and you can be taking life for granted, foolishly forgetting that our days are numbered and everything we see will one day fade away.
As my friend prepared to go into surgery, I was a mess. Replaying every moment I could ever remember with them in my head, hoping they knew how loved they were. Praying. Weeping. and I felt so hopeless and weak and overwhelmed with sorrow that there was only one answer:
The more helpless you feel, the more important it is to celebrate. I just made that up, but I think it’s true. So I bought cupcake holders and mix and frosting and I made cupcakes to give to people. Because at some point you have to let go of the sorrow and the grief and live. CS Lewis says,
[Taken from the post: An Open Letter to The Hurting Heart]
“Crying is all right in its way while it lasts. But you have to stop sooner or later, and then you still have to decide what to do.” (C.S. Lewis)
Celebrate something. Know that some days you celebrate birthdays and deaths, participate in both a wedding march and a funeral procession. Life isn’t all sorrow and it isn’t all celebration. So when you are drowning in sorrow, balance it out with some celebration.
I baked cupcakes to take to people, and I made them as full of life as I could.
Making these cupcakes didn’t heal my friend.
They didn’t undo the past month and they won’t undo the heartbreak that is ahead.
But they helped me not miss what is right ahead of me because I’m sad.
When I worked at camp, occasionally I had to give the wakeup call. I’d play Justin Bieber and Charles Kelley, and then I’d make this same announcement that I want to issue as a challenge to you:
Today is Monday, August 8th, 2016. It is the only Monday, August 8th, 2016 you will ever experience. Get out of bed and start living Monday, August 8th, 2016.
(obviously I’d say whatever date it was, not just Monday, August 8th, 2016!)
That’s my challenge to you today.
In the face of helplessness, heartbreak, uncertainty, pain, sorrow, confusion… start living today. Live it to the full, like Jesus came for. Life to the full includes all of those things but it also includes joy, laughter, dancing, parties, bravery, celebration and cupcakes.
Take the celebration to people you love, because nobody is immune from sorrow and your celebration just might give people the hope they need to power through.