Because I'm a very loving wife and because Beve's a very good sport, I'm going to post a picture of him today.
There's method to my madness. You see, it's a pretty adorable picture of our pups, who love Beve and each other, but not such a great picture of Beve. He looks rather drawn, doesn't he? Couldn't summon up a smile to save his life (or if I was being held hostage, as he's wont to say at times). Nope, this is Beve in pain. Something I haven't seen much in the 30 years of our marriage.
You see, Beve's tough. He has two kinds of arthritis, Meniere's disease, and a bad knee, but those things barely make him miss a beat. But small thing--something no larger than a grain of sand has put this look on my husband's face. It's pain that makes him sweaty and nauseous and feeling so horrible he'd just as soon vacate the whole sorry mess of his body, thank you very much.
Those of you who have dealt with them, know what I'm talking about. Yep, Kidney stones. This is Beve's third or fourth bout with the vicious little monsters and this time's breaking his personal record as the worst. He's been down and out since Friday. Trying to sleep between bouts of heaving over a sink when the pain meds wear off. He finally took himself to the doctor yesterday (Pretty handy that I can't drive at the moment!) and the diagnosis was, "Yep, you've got kidney stones. Drink lots of water, here's some heavier meds. If it doesn't get better, come back." Exactly what we expected.
Here's the thing. the kidney stones Beve's had before have been tiny things. The first one was so little we weren't quite sure that what he'd found in the strainer could possibly have caused all that pain. But the second time, there it was again, a grain of sand. Crazy small to cause a giant to stumble as it does.
But the truth about life is just this: it isn't the size of the stone that matters, or the size of the pain. It's what it touches. If we're hit by a grain of sand on a fingernail, it won't matter at all. If it flies into our eye, it causes great hurt. And so it is with emotional pain, spiritual pain. EVERY kind you can imagine. The enemy, I think, wants to hurt us where we are the most vulnerable. He wants us to feel it excruciatingly, right down to the marrow of our souls. And he knows where those points of weakness are. He knows what will cause the most harm in our relationships with each other and with God and THAT is what He goes after.
It's okay to feel that pain. It's okay to be gray-faced and nauseous about what that pain touches. That's real. Honest. God knows, of course. Doesn't He? Let it rip at Him how much it hurts, I say. That's what Beve's been doing as He sweats it out in his stoic way. That's what sweat is, and puking is.
Stand. And stand and stand. And...put on the HOLY SPIRIT. Let HIM shield you from all the darts (and even grains of sand) of the enemy. He IS what we need when we're in pain. He is the medication for our spirit. His Spirit in our spirit.