Giving In to the Chisel


In some ways looking back on this whole cancer thing is like remembering a dream. Bits and pieces float in and out of my memory, some scenes more vivid than others, some I’m not sure if I’m remembering correctly, some haunt me in the middle of the night.

(I know I keep talking about this “cancer thing” but when you’ve lived through something that’s truly changed your life it’s hard to shut up about it. Sorry.)

I have new fears (even though I want so desperately to live fearlessly) and one is the hospital. And I have fears I’ve conquered–needles don’t bother me anymore. I’ve experienced pains and discomforts I’ve never felt before and hope I’ll never feel again. And I’ve felt joy and excitement over things I only would have raised my eyebrows at before.

Cancer has totally shifted my paradigm, altered my perspective on life.

And that’s good.

I see all this, the good, the bad, and the ugly, as all a process the Father is using to shape me to look more like His Son. Sometimes it hurts and I say, “Please stop; I don’t want to take any more.” Sometimes it brings joy and, like leaning into a good scratch, I say, “Oh, yeah, right there, over a little to the left, now harder.” It’s all part of the experience called life that God uses to mold us into the child He wants us to be. We can go with it or fight it.

I’d like to say I go with it all the time, but I’m not arrogant enough to say my faith is that strong. I fight. Boy, do I fight. But thank God for His patience and loooongsuffering. He hangs with me until I see the need to give in and let Him do His thing in my life.

I heard a story once where a famous sculptor was carving a magnificent lion out of a block of granite. When the masterpiece was almost complete, a passerby and admirer approached the artist and asked, “How do you do it?”

“Do what?” the sculptor said.

“How do get such a remarkable likeness from a formless chunk of rock.”

The artist smiled. “Oh, that. It’s easy. I just chisel away everything that doesn’t look like a lion.”

Hmmm. Am I allowing God to chisel away everything in my life that doesn’t resemble Jesus?

* * *
The second half of my blog is up over at Brandilyn Collins’ Forensics and Faith blog. Check it out.
I got news yesterday that I’m being invited to be part of the faculty of this year’s Greater Philadelphia Christian Writer’s Conference in August. More details to follow. I’m so excited about this.
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About mikedellosso

Mike Dellosso is an author of wide-eyed suspense. He writes stories that not only entertain but enlighten.

Posted on January 13, 2009, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 4 Comments.

  1. Mike, your openness is an example for all of us. We’re all works in progress, all at some stage of the chisel. Sometimes the chisel whacks harder and deeper than it does at other times. Sometimes it doesn’t even seem like there’s a chisel there and we actually long for it. But the important thing is to know there’s a chisel at work.For me, I thought I’d been spending a long time in the wilderness — church upsets, career upsets, family upsets — longing for “normal” until I realized that what I was living was the “normal.” I was longing to hear His voice until I understood that He was already speaking to me, just in different ways, ways I didn’t expect (“What do you mean I’m supposed to pray for someone I never met who lives 700 miles away? How weird is that?”). So we read a blog post and, clunk, a small piece of rock gets chipped away. We go through the shock of cancer, and a huge hunk of rock falls to the ground. We lose a parent, loved one, a job, and we want to react like the whole rock just shattered. But the sculptor stays faithful. Thanks for talking about this.

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  2. Susan J. Reinhardt

    Hi Mike -When we’ve been through something so traumatic, the seemingly insignificant things of life take on a whole new meaning. I appreciate normal routine because I know what it is to have my life turned inside out, upside down, and tied in a knot.I’m so thankful God can take the hard things of life and turn them around for our good. Congratulations on being asked to join the GPCWC faculty. Do you know the topic of your workshop yet? Sorry I’ve been a little scarce around here the last few days. I’ve had a few personal challenges to handle. Blessings,Susan 🙂

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  3. Mike, thank you for this. I’m going to share it with a friend of mine who just found she has cancer. Thank you.This is just so timely for me personally.

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  4. as always your posts are inspirational… thanks mike. you are a treasure in a jar of clay

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