Tuesday, March 12, 2013
A post from the autumn of 2009 when we were much involved with Beve's beloved sister's home-going. While she lay in a coma, life went on around us and sometimes we had no choice but to be involved in it. This was one of those days.
Another day, another drive down the freeway in pouring rain. And when I say pouring, I mean think of driving through a full blast spray from a garden hose--for 40 straight minutes. It's the kind of rain where you think your windshield wipers are completely ineffective, but if you turn them off for a second, you realize they really were making a difference. Without them, it's like you're driving at the bottom of a swimming pool.
I had a very important, "Don't sit down, I'm going to take you right back," five minute doctor's appointment. As I left, prescriptions in hand, the woman behind the glass window (and don't ask me why they have a closed glass window, but in the middle of the summer's heat wave, when the woman opened the window to talk to me, a blast of arctic air hit me, though she closed it even to write out a receipt to me, letting me go back to sweating with the rest of the waiting room occupants) said, "I should have called you this morning to tell you not to come down if you hadn't had your blood drawn." I said, only slightly grumpy,"I kind of wish you hadn't told me that." Then I paddled my boat back across the parking lot, got into my car, and hydroplaned back up the freeway for another 40 minutes of clenching my hands against the wheel, and, without even noticing, holding my shoulders in a rigidly raised position.
I do that, you know. I hold my shoulders tightly when I'm a little anxious. Or angry. Or stressed. And I hold my breath as well. Blow it out at intervals with a long sigh of breath. My jaw juts when I feel like someone is condescending, not taking me seriously, doesn't give me credit for having a brain. Especially, I have to say, if men roll their eyes and say in response to something I've said, "Isn't that just like a woman?" Even thinking about such things makes my jaw jut right this moment.
I could make a list of my faults, the way I act foolishly at moments, the way, now and then, someone thinks I'm foolish when I'm not. If that makes sense. Last week at the hospital, in a conversation with a medical professional who was absently doing something for G-J, I was describing her. "She isn't perfect, though," I told him, "She doesn't suffer fools." He answered, "You mean she doesn't suffer foolishness. Nobody suffers fools." He walked out of the room as he said that--getting the last word, I suppose. But he was wrong, you know. In truth, some of us do suffer fools. In fact, if we take Paul's words in 1and 2 Corinthians seriously, we'd be glad to both act foolishly--in the eyes of the world, and to be counted as fools. For Christ's sake. Read 1 Corinthians 2, read 2 Corinthians 11. Paul doesn't mince words.
And here's the reality of my human-ness. Sometimes I act very foolish. Sometimes I take offence when I shouldn't. Sometimes I think things are about me when they aren't. Right this minute, as quickly as I can write this, I can think of half a dozen times in the last two days when I've made mountains out of molehills. Taken myself or someone else too seriously. Held on to grievances, then justified why I was holding on to them. Driving up I-5, I was having a conversation in the car. Well, perhaps I should call it more of a shouting. And I was alone in the car. If there hadn't been a watering can turned upside down on top of all of the cars alongside me, I'm pretty sure anyone trying to pass me would have considered me not merely foolish, but a dang fool. And I have to admit all that tension I feel in my shoulders tonight? It didn't comes only from the drive, but from the anger I unleashed alone in that car. Man, was I mad, and I let the person I was mad at have--even though that person was nowhere near my rampage. Foolish?
Or...healthy? I've always been a screamer, you know. I've buried my head into my pillow to yell, opened my mouth with I was alone on the hills above my home as a child, even learned to scream without making a sound. Somehow, the catharsis that comes through such release has served me well. Sometimes I yell at God as well. I tell Him why I'm mad, what I want Him to do about it, I remind Him that He is, after all, God. I mean, very God of very God. And though the world would call me foolish, I feel better for it.
I think it's okay to be foolish, to look at life, at our struggles as ways that we are commended before God. And it's okay to tell Him it's hard. Foolish. And if the world doesn't suffer such behavior, that's just fine with me. We are citizens of heaven, after all. And as far as being a fool, or suffering them, I'm reminded of what fools were in medieval courts. They were the ones who, by story and song and acting silly, pulled the court out of dark thinking. And in their 'foolishness,' they broke through to tell Truth. Always truth. Yes, I'll be a fool, and I'll be foolish. For Him and to Him. And through Him to whoever He puts in my path. To tell the Truth and to tell the Way and to tell the Light.