Saturday, November 13, 2010

Aftershocks

I don't quite know what to write about at the end of such a week. I've spent too much time in hospitals, too much time on the phone, and much time dealing with things not going the way we expected. And far, far, far too little time in the quiet and solitude that is my strength.  Literally and figuratively, which reminds me, recently I've heard young people--on tv and in person--say, "It was literally killing me."  Literally?  By that they mean that a knife was being stabbed in their heart?  Or they were bleeding out all over the floor?  Not usually.  In fact, I'd say that almost 100% of those who use the word 'literally' in such a way aren't even close to dying.  Actually they mean figuratively or metaphorically.  But somehow, "I'm figuratively dying here" doesn't quite have the same punch, does it?  But I get sick--figuratively sick-to-death--of the imprecise use of language I hear.  The other day in one of the myriad doctor's offices I've spent my life in, a nurse said she was the 'office hand-holder.'  And  I asked, "How do you hold hands with an office?"  It's an old joke, and not a very good one, but I was tired (though it was only Monday and I didn't have a clue what the week would really bring).  But I think of these things.  I react to the television and grumble at the car radio.  Oh, don't get me started...

Anyway, I need some quiet, and my body needs it even more.  Because of the pain I carry constantly, sitting in straight-backed chairs in hospital waiting rooms is even more torture for me than most people, and there isn't a soul in the world who enjoys it.  And when I am stressed (especially as I was yesterday), it takes weeks for the pain to get back to level.  Half of this day I still felt the adrenalin of it all, but now that J is home, reclining on the couch, his color back to normal and his wit alive and kicking, I've settled down.  Let go of the iron control I had over myself all week.  Once I let go, I felt it.

What amazes me, though, is that--as usual--God gave me the strength I needed for the situation.  No more, but no less.  I couldn't leap tall buildings this week, but I could make more phone-calls with more urgency than I've ever made before.  Been more firm than I knew was in me.  When my son's life was on the line, I could even raise my voice on his behalf.  And though I've been known to leave the more messy duties with our kids to Beve, since he has an iron gut and I have a quick gag reflex, he wasn't there, and I didn't flinch.  Not even once.  It never crossed my mind.  I felt strong and able and willing.  And that, my friends, was Holy Spirit working, even though I barely had time to do more than breathe His name as I flew.  But then, He is Spirit, and He blows where He will, and He knew far more than I did what I needed in order to be capable in those scary moments.  And...while He was giving me that strength, He was keeping J calm.  J was nowhere close to being scared.  And that, I think, was also the presence of Someone else in the bathroom.

So today I feel the aftershocks.  But I can live with them, because J is across the room from me, healing.  He will get well.  And that, my friends, is good enough.

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