It's been a bad week, healthwise. Painwise. It's been the kind of week where I have to lie in bed for an hour or so before I can manage to make myself stand on my weak legs, my aching feet, my tender skin. The hall through our house, which has been used as a bowling alley once or twice, seems extraordinarily long this week. So long I have to put one hand out to grab the wall so I don't fall over before I reach the kitchen. That's the kind of week it's been. It's been a "I can hardly hold my head up on my shoulders or raise my hands high enough to throw the ball for Jamaica" kind of week. And I'm living it. Yes, I'm living it. A lot of times when it's this bad, I don't live it. I curl up in my bed and stay there. Wait it out--I can do that--but one would have to make a huge leap off a cliff (and we know how that ends!) to call it living.
But still, here I am. Still breathing, still raising those arms to play with dogs, cook for my family, read, write, pray, work on quilts, try to hold conversations as the need arises. Most people call that living. But it's hard on Beve. It's hard when he wants me to do things in the evenings, and I have to be left at home because walking across parking lots is beyond me. He's understanding. Really understanding. But still. And it's hard on these two young adults who live at home, because my sense of humor seems to be on a break too. I'm telling you, a sensitive mom drives these sarcastic young adults crazy.
But still, I'm living. And if one was inclined to take the broad view of such things, the eternal view, even, one might consider it no coincidence that pain has reared its ugly head right now, because I've just re-opened the study I did last spring about suffering. In a couple weeks I have the opportunity to share this study with another group of women. I'm really looking forward to spending a weekend with these women, one of which is my youngest sister. But revising, refining, re-studying these truths at this exact moment is nothing short of profound. Almost too much to bear, actually. Gifts of the fire, when the fire is my very body? Easy, right?
But still. God knows exactly what I need, even if what I need is pain in order to study pain. Now that I've written it that way, of course it all makes sense. Orderly, in the way of God. There will an authenticity to the words I share because I'm also living them. In every sense. And even as I can't hold up my head, walk on my feet, or do any of the most ordinary of tasks, there is comfort because He is here and He is not silent. This comfort...yes, this comfort that He is purposeful in everything He allows me to suffer.
"Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so we can comfort those in any trouble iwth the comfort we ourselve receive from God. For just as we share abundantly in the sufferings of Christ, so also our comfort abounds through Christ." 2 Corinthians 1: 3-5