I play “Spider Solitaire” backwards. When the game deals out the cards, I click on the spare pile until all eight decks are fanned out. Then I try to put them back together. I’ve won 14 games in two years. That’s 1% of the 826 games played. I don’t know why I play backwards except that it’s harder so the wins are just so satisfying! When I start the game it’s very relaxing. Sliding those cards into their proper places feels like an easy task. King, Queen, Jack, ten…it’s so simple and logical. Five on the six, ace on the two…this is so gratifying! Can’t put the seven anywhere, the games going to end any minute…even my failures make sense. Oh, this is working! Three decks, four decks…nope - just dealt a bad hand.
I’ve always played in between tasks to clear my brain, but I’ve been playing more in recent months. I’ve been struggling with all the things on my “To Do” list. Yet, I hear myself thinking, just one more game. I’ve been wondering why I want to play more just when I have so much more to accomplish. Stress relief? Sure. But I think there’s more to it. Life doesn’t make sense. The mystery of suffering has been very present to us since the accident. There are no logical reasons for tragedy. And asking “why” doesn’t really get me very far. It takes far too much energy and brings no return. I prefer to live beyond the question and focus on the One who will be with me no matter what happens. Our sisters were dealt a bad hand. No reason. No explanation. Bad things just happen in our earthly journey. But God has picked up the pieces – comforted us and held us in our grief. God has carried our sisters into a place of healing and peace. This God who suffers with us – this is the only thing that is beyond a doubt. And I am so grateful for the gift of faith – this lens through which even sorrow can be transformed. In today’s gospel Jesus says this very thing to one of the ten lepers – “Go on now. You faith has saved you.”
We are going on now. There are little signs of normal reappearing in our personal lives. Life after the accident is new, though. We know things now that we didn’t know before. Our priorities have shifted. We know the gift of the present moment and the healing power of prayer. Simple things bring greater joy and things on that “To Do” list will still be there tomorrow. I’m not sure why “Spider Solitaire” has been part of my recovery from all this. (I don’t think I’m headed for a 12-Step group, but I may have to give it up for Lent!) There is this sweet moment in the game when I know it’s going to work – when six or seven decks have been laid out nice and neat. That is the moment – not the end where the screen lights up with fireworks to celebrate my brilliance. That moment right before the victory when I’m certain things will all work out – I think that’s what I love so much. I think that is exactly where we are as a community. Our faith has saved us.
Blessings and love to you all...
- Sister Vicki