There is a phrase in Spanish, ¨me da igual,¨ which means ¨It is the same to me.¨ It is perhaps closest to the phrase in English ¨I could go either way.¨ or ¨I have no preference.¨
This is the place I stand today as we go to the hospital to do the last exploratory surgery and get the results of a biopsy which could change the course of my daughter´s life.
I don´t mean indifference in the irresponsible or aloof sense of ¨I don´t care.¨ I mean the place of indifference that one comes to in the ¨Desert Fathers´sense¨ of being at peace with whatever the road is. Of being indifferent to my preference, to my logic, to my desire, to my viewpoint, to my will. It is both a terrifying and sweet point of surrender to the will of the Sovereign God and His choice of a perfect, good and loving plan.
In the last few weeks of tests, wondering and waiting, the ¨wake-up¨ moment came when the Dr. finally said they had found ¨the source of the bad cells.¨ He seemed so sure. I guess we had been hoping they wouldn't find anything besides the little umbilical tumor that had begun this whole mysterious search. Today this will be confirmed or not. The Drs. have absolutely no explanation as to why one so young would have this kinds of illness - to be specific, stomach cancer.
In the 4 days between his sober announcement and today, there has been a swinging back and forth between fear and faith, reality and shock, hope and sadness...and waiting.
By faith, we have asked for healing, gathered faith-filled praying friends to exert their faith to pray for healing and have proclaimed our own mustard seeds of childlike trust in Rapha, the One who heals.
In the quieter moments of surrender, we have sat in His presence and whispered ¨not my will, but Yours.¨ We have acknowledged His right to choose whatever tools He deems necessary. We have expressed our trust and hope in His sovereign, complete vision of life and the kingdom.
In the more raw moments of struggle, we have cried, asked questions, fought off a fog of sadness and fatigue and challenged the logic and injustice in all of this - especially in one so young, in one who is one semester away from graduating from university with honors, ready to take on the world.
In our rebellious, warring moments we have raised our voices to proclaim the power of the Resurrected One over her, we have been furious at the enemy from whom all forms of evil derive, and we have taken out all kinds of ammunition in the The Fight: Scriptures, prayers, fasting, anointing with oil, proclamations of faith and truths about healing and faith and the character of the New Testament Christ.
In the end, perhaps it could best be described that I have chosen an expectant peacefulness. Whether the road is a miraculous healing or a new journey in illness previously unknown to us, miraculously (I seriously mean miraculously!), I seem to have faith for it.
My indifference is a victory. My indifference is a gift. My indifference is a reflection of praying friends. And my indifference is a reflection of the kindness of the God I have walked with since my youth and have come to know and love with all my heart. He has proved Himself very worthy of this childlike trust.
Today as I accompany her into that hospital, I can truly say:
¨Me da igual.¨
Here is an old Ignatian definition or expression of ¨indifference¨:
¨For this it is necessary that we become indifferent to all created things so that, on our part, we want not health rather than sickness, riches rather than poverty, honor rather than dishonor, long rather than short life, and so in all the rest; desiring and choosing only what helps us praise, reverence, and serve God. This detachment comes only if we have a stronger attachment; therefore our one dominating desire and fundamental choice must be to live in the loving presence and wisdom of Christ, our Savior.¨ Saint Ignatius of Loyola, Spanish founder of the Jesuits