Sam has never really been afraid of anything except for people in costumes like Humphrey B. Bear, Clowns and Santa Claus. As a child she was also afraid of saying goodbye to me. Today she is afraid of the possibility of being admitted to hospital. It’s my fault that she is going in and I feel as though I have betrayed her.

Yesterday while we were waiting for her drugs to be administered through pharmacy I ran back up to see the specialist. This sudden sweep of anxiety passed over me like the rush of guilt when we have neglected to do something that is very important. I ran to the escalator and back into HOAC and asked the secretary if it was at all possible to speak again to our doctor.

In his gracious, laid back, caring manner he invited me in to his office and listened with his tired eyes. ‘I’m concerned,’ I told him, ‘what if its not her thyroid?’

He looked across his desk staring at its edge, considering my question. ‘I’m a little concerned too,’ he said when his eyes met mine. ‘We would need to bring her in, do a series of tests, more blood cultures, more scans and ultrasounds, I know she doesn’t want to come in but I think it would be useful to rule everything out.’

‘I’d like to be sure,’ I said, ‘she’s very precious to me,’ I added stating the obvious. I felt embarrassed.

‘Of course,’ he agreed covering me with grace. ‘Have you got private health insurance, it may be complicated getting a bed.’

Then we agreed to chat in the morning when he had worked things out, talked to the endocrinologist, spoken to his colleagues, checked with the ward and so on. By 10 o’clock he had not called, so I called him. His secretary wrote down the fevers and the times they had occurred and reassured me that he would call.

Sam was still sleeping when the call came. He was brief. ‘It is all organised, see you at 2.30 in HOAC.’ The silence at the end of the line when he hung up the phone caused me to feel like the great betrayer. I felt as though I had reported my daughter for a crime, ‘How will I tell her we are going back in?’ I wondered, as I looked across to her tiny curled up frame asleep on the couch under the cool of the air conditioner.

Then the picture came to my mind of my niece Kate’s 1st Birthday party, 18 years ago. I am in my sister’s bedroom with the green floral wallpaper and Sam, aged 3 is propped up on the bed laughing as I am getting ready for the guest appearance as a clown. All the time I was getting ready I was talking her through it.Kate, Aunty Clare and Grandad

‘See, now mummy is putting on the outfit, funny isn’t it? Now, I’m putting on the white face, now the big red, lipstick smile, funny lashes, look Sam, mummy is drawing on the funny lashes. Do I look like a clown? I am dressing like a clown for little Katie’s birthday.’ Sam was fine, everything was fine until I put on the nose and somehow at that moment I must have stopped looking like her mother and she began to scream.

She screamed and screamed. She would not stop screaming. The fear in her eyes was horrendous. She had no where to go because I was always the one that she ran to when there were Humphrey appearances at shopping malls, or Santa Clauses on icicle thrones. I was the one she hid behind and now she had nowhere to go.

Here I am, doing it all again. I’m betraying her and leaving her with nowhere to go.

I look at her calmly sleeping and I don’t see a 21 year old. I see a little girl that I love with all my heart. I see all of the moments of her life, I see the potential of her future and I just want to hold her and make everything okay and take away all the fear.

I wish it were as simple as taking off the makeup, or passing her to the arms of her aunty but going back to hospital because there’s a chance of a hidden infection is so much more complicated.

She didn’t scream when I told her. Instead she ate her lunch in silence. We demolished the last jar of Silvia’s sauce on macaroni as if it could be ‘The Last Supper’ or Holy Communion. A reverent silence filled the room. As she pushed the pasta around the bowl her only comment was, ‘I just don’t get it, we prayed.’

I don’t really get it either. We did pray. We’ve prayed all year about every single thing and sometimes God doesn’t answer the way we want him to.

The devil likes to whisper things like ‘God doesn’t really care about what you are going through.’ It’s tempting to buy that line. It feels like truth. But I’ve heard it said that if you invite him in to ride your thoughts long enough, pretty soon he wants to drive. He takes you down the one way streets that lead to dead ends and that’s futile.

So instead of trying to cheer her up I simply agreed with her that I don’t get it either. That we are searching for truth, not leaving anything to chance.

Maybe inside her there’s an infection hiding, masked like that clown and we are going to peel off the layers and look at it for what it really is.

That’s what I want from my relationship with God too. I don’t want bells and whistles. I don’t want hype or pantomimes or riddles. I want truth.

Psalm 51:6 Behold, You desire truth in the inner being; make me therefore to know wisdom in my inmost heart.

God is truth and He made me in His image so I figure He understands this need in me. He says ‘I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through me.’

I’m so thankful that Jesus came. So thankful He bore our sickness and disease. My life is changed by what He did on the cross for me.

I know healing is available but sometimes I wish it worked like abracadabra and happened straight away. It’s easy to believe but so hard to wait. Real life doesn’t take place under the Big Top of the circus tent.

God isn’t expecting a performance or a mask. Instead he says to me ‘Just as you are, you come.’

Jesus came so that I would find my way to God. That through unveiled face I could go directly to Him. To make my petitions known to Him. He came to be my great high priest, my mediator who is seated on Gods right hand interceding for me.

Even when I don’t understand, when I don’t get it; when i don’t see what He sees that is when I have to do what I can do and leave the rest to Him.

So, when everything was packed in the car we drove and we listened to the song she wants to walk down the aisle to and the one she sang along to last summer, driving in her car with the windows down and her hair blowing in the breeze. We remembered life before she had leukaemia and we imagined what it will be like again when life is normal.

God’s grace carries us like Aunty Kim carried Sam all those years ago when the person (me) she put all her hope in didn’t seem to understand. Just as it was my purpose to bring joy dressed in clown’s costume so Jesus brings us joy.

Sometimes we can’t see clearly, sometimes we don’t get it but He’s there right in front of us. He’s bringing us joy.

Clare Clown


Filed under Life

11 responses to “Clowns

  1. Bronte Waller

    Kendall here- What a journey my friend. I spose I am afraid to say you were born for this but you are not alone. Love Kendall.

  2. Bronte Waller

    Kendall and I are here all teary…Boy oh boy there are and will be incredible stories to tell when this is all over. It is really working out in me so many things that I would rather not have known about but the reality is so many face Cancer as a daily battle and it is all too real. All too hard. I pray we all come away with things that enlarge us to see the bigger picture and what we can do to be loving hands in very tiring and trying times. I would prefer, however, to fly in and carry you all away. God loves you too much to do that so I guess I better hang in there too.

  3. Katey Highfield

    Oh my darlings, what a journey you are on. Prayers and love my friends – He is listening, He has a plan, He reigns in all things, including this.

    xo K

  4. Silvia noble

    Darling Clare
    C.S Lewis wrote ” Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another “what! You too? I thought I was the only one”
    I know you realise you are not alone, not the only one as we pray and dream together of the peace ahead.
    So sorry I can’t express this as eloquently as you……..I’ll stick to pasta sauce, (replenishing delivery on the way.) Thanks again for “taking us there” and bearing your heart.

  5. Laura

    Hi Clare, Sam is so lucky to have such an amazing family around her and we are all so lucky to have someone like Sam in our lives. My thoughts are with Sam and her family through this really tough time. I cant wait to hang out with Sam when things are back to normal. xoxox
    Love Laura (Sams cinema friend) 🙂

  6. Clare, I am so inspired by you in very, very many ways. You have such a gift in your writing, iI cry because my heart says it all too, but just can’t express it. So I read it all and say ‘yes’ ‘yes’ ‘yes’. Thank you.

    Judy x

  7. Susannah

    Oh Clare. I’m devistated for you. In fact I’m frustrated, angry, frustrated, confused and bewildered…BUT GOD.

    Our strength comes from Him. Our life is in Him. Words seem so shallow when your pain is so deep, but His words are the deepest of any, so hold onto it, like you have and you will somehow, from what will seem like no-where find your strength and will soar again on eagles wings.

    God’s Medicine coming to your Inbox shortly.

    xxx Susannah

  8. Jane Grover

    Clare your words are magnificent xx you are magnificent, JESUS even more magnificent.
    Ahhhhhhhh…….why is it things don’t always happen the way we plan or in the timing we plan, BUT IF YOU KEEP WALKING WITH JESUS, YOU WILL WALK INTO YOUR ANSWER….God is up ahead with the answer, He knows the end of the story, we are back here not knowing where things are heading exactly, BUT IF YOU KEEP WALKING WITH JESUS, YOU WILL WALK INTO YOUR ANSWER….
    Clare, Jesus is your answer, you know that He is the ONLY answer, the Devil accuses, He mocks, He brings fear & doubt, he doesn’t want you to keep walking, he too knows your answer looms, your victory is up ahead with JESUS, as you KEEP WALKING WITH JESUS, YOU WILL WALK INTO YOUR ANSWER…. many of us continue to walk with you, pray for you, resist the enemy on your behalf, together we will stand until we win…

  9. sheralyn bucknell

    Hi Clare – praying that the source of the fever is found and you have a great sense of moving forward into the healing that is promised. Certainly a journey of endurance for you all. Thank God for all the training you have done in preparation for this! Love you and missing you. Sheralynxx

  10. Sandy Foster

    Braveheart – and I thought that was all about the story of William Wallace. BRAVE HEART – that’s you. Brave, strong, steadfast and courageous, not backing down …. standing firm (not wavering) and trusting.
    We’re standing with you Clare – Trusting in the Lord with all our hearts – leaning not on our own understanding but in all our ways acknowledging Him believing that He is directing and making straight and plain your paths.
    All our love Sandy & Don xxx

  11. Meredith Harvey

    Dearest Clare,
    My heart is heavy for you, but again you need to know the power of your words through these blogs. You are an amazing support and strength for Sam, she is blessed to have you as her mum. And Sam is so brave, so strong and so clearly eminating God through all she is doing. As so many here have mentioned God is your fortress and rock and He will carry you through.
    I have been listening to this song below over and over and everytime i hear it, i think of Sam and you and your family.
    May the words be of comfort to you as to how our God is going to triumph over all.

    Desert Song by Brooke Fraser/Hillsong

    This is my prayer in the desert
    When all that’s within me feels dry
    This is my prayer in my hunger and need
    My God is the God who provides

    This is my prayer in the fire
    In weakness or trial or pain
    There is a faith proved
    Of more worth than gold
    So refine me Lord through the flame

    I will bring praise
    I will bring praise
    No weapon formed against me shall remain
    I will rejoice
    I will declare
    God is my victory and He is here

    This is my prayer in the battle
    When a triumph is still on its way
    I am a conqueror and co-heir with Christ
    So firm on His promise I’ll stand

    This is my prayer in the harvest
    When favour and providence flow
    I know I’m filled to be emptied again
    The seed I’ve received I will sow

    All of my life
    In every season
    You are still God
    I have a reason to sing
    I have a reason to worship

    I will bring praise
    I will bring praise
    No weapon formed against me shall remain
    I will rejoice
    I will declare
    God is my victory and He is here

    Love Mez xxxx

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