Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Day 198 Days of Barreness, Days of Plenty

Dear friends,

With Stephen's permission, here is a photo of "Shrek Foot", or sporting its more recent name, "Frankenfoot". I had to laugh when the nurse yesterday asked me if I was comfortable wrapping his bad foot. After doing pin care on an external fixator, and washing out an open skin graft with saline solution, I'm ok with ace bandaging a stitched appendage. I remember how scared I was when Hercules came home from Sunnyview, a mass of wounds to be dressed every day, twice a day. It took 45 minutes per session to get him fixed up. I was so ill equipped for the job at hand. I cried and prayed on the way out of those hospital doors. And then, by gum, by the grace of God, I became a nurse. They'll never hire me in that capacity at Albany Med, but I can clean and wrap a wound pretty well.
I had kind of a neat experience this morning. Nature helps me understand things better. I believe the Great One set it up that way. The very nature of the created world is full of metaphors and poetry that illuminates truths my limited brain can't sort out in the raw of everyday. But make a story out of it, and I get it... Each morning David goes out the front door, and I watch him through my bedroom window at the corner until I see him get safely on the little yellow school bus. He started this in November, after the accident, since prior to that I worked at Our Savior's and drove him to school in the morning. All through the winter months I kept my eye on him through the bare trees, until he got on board. Through the spring I watched faithfully, as the little buds started to appear on the mature trees between my lot and the corner. Little by little, the lush green began to obstruct my view of the all important treasure. This morning I realized I could only see him faintly when he moved, until the yellow bus pulled up and he stepped on, easy to see, safe and sound.

So a light bulb went on somewhere in this mysterious orb of gray matter. And I thought about those barren days of fall and winter, when there were no leaves on the trees, and there was a stripping, in the world and in my life, allowing in a great deal of light and clearing the way for my eyes to see the truly precious, valuable things. That it happened on the day after Smitty had a 1 hour surgery, instead of 9 hours, only drove the point home more clearly. Sometimes our darkest hours bring clarity we could not have imagined. We don't love the pain, but we value the vision. The trick is to hold on when the leaves start to come back in. To remember the vast wealth we gained in the dark and bring it with us into the light.

I need desperately to do this. Though we have tread a thousand miles from November 8, and I have gained inexpressibly, there are still shadows that could drown me. I need to see the value in the shadows, and believe for the continual growth and healing that will surely come. Writing this blog is part of the process of recalling the mighty works of God, and of the dear people He has designated as fellow travellers: our friends and our families. You. Remembering the insights from the barren days makes us wiser for the trip through the growing season, and eventually the harvest time. There are dangers to the soul in every season of life, and an enemy ready to exploit those dangers. Often the easier times put us off our guard, and cause us to forget what really matters. Sometimes the difficult times tempt us to despair. Rescue me from either such fate, Oh Great One!

Let's just keep walking with Him, and keeping Him in the uppermost place where He belongs.
And when we fail, we have a forgiving Savior, ready to give us a do-over when we repent. Let neither self sufficiency nor self hatred wreck us for the purposes we have along this swift way.

Your friend on the pilgrim road,

P.S. Shrek foot or Frankenfoot? What's the more apt name?


Anonymous said...

"Sometimes our darkest hours bring clarity we could not have imagined. We don't love the pain, but we value the vision. The trick is to hold on when the leaves start to come back in. To remember the vast wealth we gained in the dark and bring it with us into the light." LS

You nailed it, baby. There really IS no clarity without the pain we endure, is there? There's nothing like a painful episode in our lives to weed out all the frills from what really matters. Suddenly, the only thing we can see is our need for the Lord - His presence, His comfort, His Word. I've gotten to the point in my painful episode of late that even my closest relationships can only do so much - it's really HIM I can't do without. There is nowhere else to turn, and I like that, because His love is guaranteed, perfect and endless. No one on earth knows the depths of my heart and mind, and therefore cannot meet the deep needs I have when my despair reaches new ebbs. Don't get me wrong - I am truly grateful for the amazing relationships that I have with the very few who 'get' me (like you), but I'm sure you know what I mean when I say that sometimes you reach the end of your earthly relationships to depend on in certain times, and only He can do the rest. That's a good thing. He never sleeps, is too busy, or has a job to go to and can't be reached. And He certainly doesn't have any issues of His own to deal with. Full access, 24/7. I need that. I know we all do.

By the way, Frankenfoot is my fave. And I love you with all my heart. Can't wait to see you!

Christina said...

My vote is for Frankenfoot! Love you guys

Mary Louise said...

I'm voting Frankenfoot all the way.

sarajofina said...

Frankenfoot for sure ;)

Anonymous said...

Followed the blog for about 4 months - thought of you guys and all the friends that successfully prayed and received from God for Steve and Hannah. Pastor Slawter of Hope Church in Ballston Spa Fell into a 30’ ravine while biking. He is in Albany Medical Center, currently paralyzed from the neck down. Please intercede!

Arleen said...

Frankenfoot, definitely! Kind 'of rolls off the tongue, doesn't it?

Posterfix said...

The name should be Frankenfoot, and by the looks at the above comments, all agree. That way he can start eating Frankenberry Cereal and buying Boris Karloff Posters and stuff!
I will dress as Count Chocula just to be "Mister Bad taste" ha ha ha.
Love you guys.
Steven: start working on that Karlof impression, eh???

Posterfix said...

By the way: I just found this rather long quote on a Monty Python website-"Just the words" episode 24- Neville Shunt: (to be read aloud very very fast)

Some people have made the mistake of seeing Shunt's work as a load of rubbish about railway timetables, but clever people like me, who talk loudly in restaurants, see this as a deliberate ambiguity, a plea for understanding in a mechanized world. The points are frozen, the beast is dead. What is the difference? What indeed is the point? The point is frozen, the beast is late out of Paddington. The point is taken. If La Fontaine's elk would spurn Tom Jones the engine must be our head, the dining car our oesophagus, the guard's van our left lung, the cattle truck our shins, the first-class compartment the piece of skin at the nape of the neck and the level crossing an electric elk called Simon. The clarity is devastating. But where is the ambiguity? It's over there in a box. Shunt is saying the 8.15 from Gillingham when in reality he means the 8.13 from Gillingham. The train is the same only the time is altered. Ecce homo, ergo elk. La Fontaine knew his sister and knew her bloody well. The point is taken, the beast is moulting, the fluff gets up your nose. The illusion is complete; it is reality, the reality is illusion and the ambiguity is the only truth. But is the truth, as Hitchcock observes, in the box? No there isn't room, the ambiguity has put on weight. The point is taken, the elk is dead, the beast stops at Swindon, Chabrol stops at nothing, I'm having treatment and La Fontaine can get knotted.

Tom S said...

I vote for "miracle foot."