I have been sick. Unfortunately, when I am sick I can’t just get a nice little stomach bug or even a lovely bacterial infection like a normal person. Oh, no! I have to have my internal organs swell and my liver attack me and make me jaundiced. Even my spleen is enlarged (my spleen for goodness sakes!). I have basically been sitting around like a lump of putty. If I decide to move, it is from the couch to the chair or from the chair to the bed. I have been feeling kind of worthless and when I feel worthless I feel kind of hopeless, too.
Well, last night I could not sleep. It is hard to have a somewhat normal sleep schedule when the only clothes you have worn are pajamas and the only places you have gone for weeks is either a hospital or a clinic. So I moved from the bed to the couch in the family room, which sits right below my neighbor Joe’s bedroom.
Joe is our 90-year-old neighbor who mows his own lawn, washes his dinner down with a few shots of hard liquor and loves our family like we are his own. Joe is known to our kids as “neighbor/grandpa Joe” and our entire family loves him right back.
Joe hangs a cross from his bedroom window and aims it into our house. At night he lights it and the light illuminates our family room. As I made my way to the couch, I saw the cross – Joe’s cross that he has so lovingly used to bless us. I slumped my sick, hopeless body down at the foot of the cross and basked in it’s radiant glow. I felt loved. When I feel loved, I feel protected and when I feel protected I feel hope and when I have hope, I can conquer anything!
Today was the first day since getting sick that I have felt more alive than dead. I actually want to do more than I should and Ryan has had to remind me to take it easy. An afternoon blood draw was normal (I love normal!) so I am no longer jaundiced and I am walking upright so I think my organs have gone back to their appropriate size. Although I am still on the mend, I feel like I have worth again. It is nice to be at the point in the journey where you can see that there is a light at the end of the tunnel and eventually you will reach it.
Someday I will remember to lay my body down at the foot of the cross everyday. Someday it won’t take illness to remind me that I can bask in the hope of the cross always. Someday I won’t forget that hope springs eternal when I am looking up to the One who created me and made me in His image. Someday, someday…
But until that day, I will look to my neighbor Joe’s window and I will be reminded that I am a child of God.