Monday, February 15, 2010

Is everyone getting tired of my chronically ill, mid-winter angst, or is it just me? I'm sitting here beside a pile of folded laundry, looking out at a sunny day, knowing I have multiple errands to do and dreading the thought of pushing through the fatigued physical pain to go out and do them. First I'd have to get dressed. I had a lovely, busy week-end with my family, and I can't say it was too much because it was perfect, but now I feel certain that somewhere between Avatar in 3D and Megan's delish birthday cake, I was inadvertantly run over by a school bus. Wah, wah, wah.

"Go on," my mother used to say, "you'll feel better once you get outside." Mother-wisdom. Only it doesn't work like that anymore. I'll come home exhausted, and probably sorer than ever. But, chances are, I'll also come back emotionally refreshed by venturing out and discovering that the world does indeed move on while I shuffle around my house making fallen (albeit yummy) souffles, writing inanities on-line and weeping over "We are the World" videos.

I have two requests that I present before God on a fairly regular basis. Either get me out of this pain-filled, difficult mess, or help me to shine in it. Despite it. Maybe even because of it. The reality is that yes, things are really rough right now. And yes, things are really wonderful right now. Ironically, my vision of the wonderful is heightened by my experiences in the rough. I write about these things because I have a deep, internal conviction that this is not just about me. I am not the only one suffering. And I am clueless/helpless/useless to help, because I can't get anyone else out of their messes any more than I can get me out of mine. So I talk about it. Because it is okay to talk about our pain. It is okay to admit it, confront it, accept it. If there's a way out, oh my goodness, take it. But if not, then live it. Suffering is a part of the human experience, part of discovering who we really are, who God really is, and who we can become when the strength, love and power of the Almighty God inhabits a wounded, broken vessel and begins to shine through the cracks.

I know I write a lot about pain. It is my experience, and while it doesn't own me, it plays a part in shaping me just as the roaring wind and raging waters shape the natural beauty around us. I hope that the predominant message from my writing is one of hope. The Christian faith encourages us to take what God has given us and offer it back to Him as an offering, allowing Him to chose how to use the gifts, abilities and strengths tat we have. I offer my pain to Him as a offering, and pray that He will use it in a way that gives comfort, strength and hope to others who hurt. Hope, that each one of us is more that the sum of our pain. Hope that pain does not necessarily mute the beauty around us, but can enhance it. Hope that saying "I hurt" is a sign of courage and strength, not weakness. Hope that God has a plan for us, that His love is bigger than anything else, that when we are weak, He is strong in us, that His gentle, cleansing touch can heal parts of us that we never knew were wounded.

So, yeah. Those errands await. The dog is whining at the door to come in, and the rooster and bunny are circling each other in a dance of doom on the front porch. Maybe there are some problems I can solve, after all. Cool.

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