Words Change

We give our boys lumps of coal in their Christmas stockings. 
From clever candy makers, the lumps are made of (cheap) crispy chocolate. 
lump of coal
funny stocking stuffer
lump under covers
an exciting game of  boo just about to happen
lump of sugar
those crystalline, sweet squares for tea time
"take your lumps"
a common saying in a household of surging testosterone, like mine
Lumps in the gravy!
 teasingly crowed by my family

Before our lives were touched by cancer, the word LUMP was an innocent one. How quickly a simple, one-syllable word can change from light to dark! 

"I found a lump."
"He says there's a lump."
"The results show a lump."

There are lots of nicer, maybe easier to hear, words than lump, that tiny but mighty word no one wants to hear a doctor say, see next to a diagnostic code, or even think when it's not in reference to sugar, blankets or gravy. Medical personnel who do not wish to see their patient burst into tears might use lump in disguise: nodule, cyst, growth, mass. All words which have their own technical nuances, I'm sure, which distinguish it from lump, but still mean the same thing to most of us, who find themselves uncomfortably seated on long sheets of white paper.

I'm praying today for all those whose lives have been impacted by that word. That truth will seep into the confusion of their frightened knowing. The perfect truth of 
that is infinitely greater than the tiny word, 


Anonymous said...

That is a beautiful bible verse from Phillipians. I feel sorry for anyone who has cancer and doesn't believe in God. I saw that coal at Christmas-time and almost bought it, but I was looking for the anise flavored "coal". Once my son got a real lump of coal at his college's furnace area to give to his little sister for a gag gift :) love,andrea

marie said...

Beautifully written Sue....