In the grand sweep of Life, there are those Moments of Note. Through life experience for some of us, comes a bit of wisdom and sagacity.
Last night brought into snap-focus (sorry, this comes from my television background; but look the term up) two parallel journeys that my wife and I have been seeing and… walking.
SHE comes first. She is first in all things of my life. Her long journey back to health and strength has been arduous, but character-building. I’m witnessing this transformation into a fighter. She has had to fight hard to come back from her recent encounter with the dark side of Congestive Heart Failure: Its insidious creeping-up of fluid buildup in your system – so slowly that… by the time you realize you need hospital attention, it’s actually about three weeks beyond that true point.
She has also had to fight her way back from a back injury, sustained before Thanksgiving. She’s diligently doing her Physical and Occupational Therapies, and is working hard to get released. The extended-care-rehab facility she’s in won’t sign off on her release until she can do stairs – because we have two steps down to our living room. Now, 29 years ago when we built this house… had we known this… But what good does “if-only-ing” do you?
She has realized that she is the one in control of her condition, and must hold onto, and exert, that control. Good for her!
Lesson learned: When she looks around her at the facility, there are many good people who were stricken with strokes – and worse. Their journeys will be far longer than hers. And her roommate has crippling arthritis, to the point where it is difficult for her to even feed herself.
When you look around in these circumstances, you realize how very, very fortunate you are. And you adjust your attitude.
For my part: these last almost two months (TWO MONTHS!) have been quiet – too quiet – and dark, and cold, in the house. It’s been hard to sleep, because I just miss her presence and the light and laughter that she brings to the house. Meanwhile, our Christmas presents sit quietly in the dining room, unopened.
And her brutal honesty about how certain aspects of current politics affect all people, of all income brackets.
And how she gently understands that I need to do the things God has made me to do, and how they help others… for my work… and how she totally understands the toll that this takes on me.
The light in the house is dimmed by her absence. But we have had snow lately, and the last few nights, I have maintained my practice of going outside. In spite of the challenge of walking in the snow with my diminished capability.
I could say ‘not tonight’ and just go into the sunroom where there’s a comfortable chair and even though the floor is cold as ice (the room isn’t heated or cooled) I could kind of have the same thing going.
But this is something that needed doing, no matter how hard it might be. It’s the doing that matters. It’s that practice of having faith and going to a special spot to practice the Presence of God that matters. And it’s always rewarding in some fashion.
There was about five inches of snow (until last night, when we got a good six to eight more), but somehow, I needed to go out and sit in the chair on the deck… and to behold what God had done…
And, yes, it was magnificent.
And after I got in, I realized that this, too, was a minor spiritual journey.
I had to put my trust in God, that he wouldn’t let me fall. And that I could just spend a few minutes being still. in the quiet and stillness; letting it sink in… and to realize that God IS.
He says, “Be still, and know that I am God;
I will be exalted among the nations,
I will be exalted in the earth.”