Reading this post by Brookewill gave me the kernel of an idea that I needed to complete a short piece that I’ve been trying to write about grace.
Grace is an almost foreign concept in the Mo world. Though we espouse a belief in both grace and works, the balance of doctrine and ritual weigh in on the side of works. So when a friend suggested that I write about a moment grace I was hard-pressed to do so. Though my favorite hymn is “Amazing Grace” (not in the Mormon hymnal, btw), I have rarely thought through the concept or tried to apply it to my own religious practice or belief.
So here’s my moment of “grace”:
When I was 12 I was boy-crazy.Sometimes I even kissed boys in the halls at school.Enjoying the power the promise of such kisses held.Imagining myself a winsome beauty.Relishing the whispers of girls who gossiped about such things.Knowing that I was the center of scandal.
When I was 13 and I was diagnosed with bone cancer, I started to feel guilty about my boy-craziness.When someone suggested that my cancer was God’s way of punishing me for kissing boys during my lunch hour, I believed them.I knew I was supposed to wait for such things until I was 16, or I was engaged to a good Mormon boy.Maybe God knew that only way to for me to ever end up worthy for the temple was to make me so sick that I no longer thought about boys.
Now, with the temple marriage behind me and more than twenty years since my diagnosis, I still wonder why I got cancer. But I recently gave up the belief that my cancer was God’s doing.He and I have talked about that.And I now know that it was as hard on him as it was on me.