Tender Mercies – Living the Law of Polarity

 

By Alisa Hancock

The Law of Polarity states that everything of consequence has an opposite.

Life is just as good and joyful as it is bad and bitter. If something is bad, it is also good. If something is really, really bad, then it is also really, really good. This law is one of my favorites because it gives us hope when life seems to be really, really, really bad.

In March 2007 we learned that my mother had Stage 4 terminal breast cancer. She had aged 30 years in about 3 months’ time. All my grandparents lived to be at least 80 years old, and my grandfather is still alive at age 95. So it was a complete shock for my entire family to watch helplessly as my mother’s health quickly deteriorated from the cancer.

This was the first time I consciously put the Law of Polarity to the test. I felt like my mother’s death was something that was really, really, really, really bad and so I wanted to experience all the really, really, really, really good things that could come out of it. Her death was an amazing experience for me. Even though I cried more tears than I would have thought humanly possible, I was surrounded by a peaceful assurance that “All is well!” I received so many tender mercies that I started keeping a journal so I could keep track of them all.

We had three weeks from the time we knew my mother was dying until she was physically gone. As I recorded my thoughts and feelings the last few weeks of my mother’s life, I focused on the tender mercies I received from God.

A tender mercy is a personal and timely message of comfort and reassurance accompanied by God’s love. It is not a random occurrence, but a loving reminder from a loving God that all is well and happening for a higher purpose. Tender mercies are simple, sweet and constant in our lives if we are looking for them.

As I focused on the tender mercies of the Lord, they came more frequently and in greater ways than I could have imagined. Experiencing the sadness of my mother’s death was inevitable; experiencing the greatness of her death was a conscious choice I made.

Some of the tender mercies were too personal to share. I have recorded them and I treasure those constant assurances that “All is well!” I live 1300 miles away from my mother, so those final three weeks were a huge tender mercy for me. I had time to arrange my affairs with my family and get on a plane and visit my mother. After I arrived home, I was able to drive back with my entire family so that my husband and my children could say goodbye to her, also.

My mother loved music; she was an incredible pianist and organist, and her entire life revolved around music. Two weeks before her death, we put her in the wheelchair and brought her into the dining room/recreation room of the rest home. We played the piano and sang for her (and for anyone who stayed after dinner to hear the singing). It was definitely like being in heaven. She had blessed our lives with music for so many years, and now we were able to return that blessing to her.

My mother was able to return to her home for the final two weeks of her life. We set up a hospital bed in her living room where she had a beautiful view of the mountains, and where she could be next to her grand piano. Many former piano students came and played the piano for my mother. I personally played the piano for my mother as much as possible because she enjoyed it and seemed to be more relaxed when she heard her piano being played. One of the last gifts my mother left me was helping me rediscover my love for music.

The Sunday after her death we attended the congregation where my mother had attended the last 17 years of her life. It was a blessing to be surrounded by so many people who loved my mother and my family and had offered us so much love and support in the preceding weeks. The closing hymn was about pressing on and having courage, and I could feel my mother reminding me that in the end we will all be victorious.

A week after I returned home from my mother’s funeral I found a letter she had written to me in 1991. It was written in her own hand, and it was filled with so many kind things she wrote about me. It was like having her next to me saying the very things I wanted to hear her say. Another tender mercy.

I would love to have my mother back again, but I am so grateful for all the things I learned from her death. I am grateful that out of something so difficult and sad, I was able to discover so much love and joy.

 

Alisa Hancock

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