Friday, April 17, 2009

One Year Later

April 22 will mark one year since Meredith Rankin left this life for her eternal one. I feel sheepish trying to blog about this, like I'm grasping in vain for the right words. I don't know how one would begin to encapsulate Meredith's spirit. But I think that's OK, because she wasn't about talk. In my stubborn naivete, I guess I'd just assumed that when it came to things like faith, gratitude and humility, I had a decent grip -- imperfect but not awful. I'm so thankful she showed me how much further I still have to climb.

I wrestle with the nuts and bolts, the hows and whys of everything imaginable and some things I doubt anyone's ever bothered to imagine. Why do people do evil things? How does Earth not get wiped out by a meteor? Why do I have gray hairs already? Naturally, this curiosity extends to matters of faith too. But Meredith helped me put down the microscope. She personified the hows and the whys of faith and in the midst of the greatest struggle of her life, she accepted what was.

Meredith, or Muffy as she announced at age 2 she would be called from then on, was beautiful, hilarious, intelligent, and had approximately 2 billion friends. I knew her at Miami but mainly after college through my friends Lindsay and Jen. At age 23, almost three years ago now, she was diagnosed with colon cancer -- advanced, metastasized, incurable, Stage IV colon cancer. But it would never define or embitter her, because she didn't allow it. What she did allow was for her heart to be transformed by the true, unpretty, sometimes wrenching meaning of faith. And she let us all witness it. She and her family started an online journal after she was diagnosed, and if you read it, you'll understand why she affected so many. I printed all 56 pages and made a book out of it.

Thank you Meredith, for exploding the lid off of my immature concept of Christianity, of suffering, of contentedness and gratitude. Thank you for loving God and teaching me that to "give thanks in all circumstances" really means all of them, especially the most unpleasant ones. Thank you for showing me that the joy which arises from selflessness is the only kind that matters.

So, is God enough? From Muff herself:

Yes. Because like I said before, He is the only thing I can ever count on anymore. I can't count on my own body to work for me, my own decisions to get me though, my own parents to protect me, my own husband to provide for me, or my own doctors to heal me ... because they can't. They just can't, and I think the sooner people figure that out the happier they'll be. I gave up a long time ago trying to do it all myself, because you'll kill yourself trying. God is it ... He is enough for everything.