As I prep The Hawk Part 7 for release, I’m brought back to something Eric said to Sam in Part 4: I know I’m new at this faith stuff, but he didn’t spare his own son. Why shouldn’t we expect some heartache along the way?
Writing this novel has been an exercise not only in faith that one of these days I’ll finish it, but broadening my trust in God to get me through the less stellar parts of life. As I noted yesterday, 2015 was teeming with delights. It was also bittersweet, and to be honest, since I started The Hawk, my family has undergone great change. Shortly after the writing commenced in October 2013, Dad saw an oncologist at UCSF, who recommenced chemotherapy. Suddenly Dad’s journey with cancer was taking a severe left turn, but this is how life, and death, proceeds, not always how we would imagine or prefer. In 2014 I did little noveling but a lot of driving, for my father as well as two pregnant daughters. That year I wasn’t even sure if The Hawk would fly, ha ha. I detailed my stalled efforts in a poem, which I recently reread, reminding myself how much life has altered in the last few years. Yet, that is the force behind our existences, although not always are those changes pleasant.
A theme I constantly revisit is that need for change, which leads to growth, which often translate to heartache along the journey. Within a novel, drama is essential, and the same holds for life, but how we deal with heartache doesn’t have to be over the top. Christ asks for us to know all is well regardless of the oncoming storms. And to even give thanks for those storms, for within the maelstrom is the opportunity to cling to him. In Part Seven, Marek tells Lynne that when we pray for God’s will, we are handing over the burden, allowing Christ to continue the mystery, as well as do all the work. We are walking in the dark, Marek notes, but sometimes that’s the easiest thing.
Yet, our human natures chafe at that idea, for we want to be in control. Last year I sat beside my ailing father, control long out of his hands. It was out of mine too, whether he was sleeping peacefully or aching for painkillers. Within the fiction, I want to share these truths, as well as the lasting joy that lingers, albeit in manners I don’t fully understand. But that’s fine. As I said a few posts ago, it’s not for me to determine the purpose, only to engage in the process. And when that process turns painful, to then seek peace from the most secure and eternal position; on my knees or with eyes closed, fully aware I’m not alone.
Not even Christ was spared, but in his sufferings, I know mine are understood.
Thanks to Laura Bruno Lilly for the impetus behind this post.