At mid-morning today I answered a firm knock on our door. Molly had left for a doctor's appointment. I was not really dressed, and struggling with shirt cuff buttons in the bathroom.
I opened the door in my underwear. The unexpected visitor was one of the young Home Care people Medicare was providing. I was standing there in my underwear, confessing my surprise, my unpreparedness, and worse - the fact that I had forgotten she would be coming today at all.
Confusion is exactly what they were looking for, and I played right into it. I was soon pelted with questions of what day and month it was, did I know where I was, followed by brief memory tests.
The young woman was gracious and forgiving. We got through the interview, ending with me taking a trial run down the hall, seeing if I could push a wheelchair in a straight line before me. Was I out of breath? Light-headed? I was nervous, out of breath, and quickly exhausted.
Like most Americans, I wanted to be in control, surprisingly fit, and well on the road to recovery.
The reality was I'd been through a weakening week in hospital, with pneumonia, sepsis, and an illness I must respect, faced with a battle I must fight very carefully, with frequent rests, and above all, a willingness to honestly admit my weakness.
The battle for health demands setting aside foolish pride, taking every help that is offered, and the acknowledgement that it will be a long way back. That what I had experienced was major, a narrow brush with life's last breath. I must pay attention. I must be faithful enough to be humble. To let my nearest and dearest in life help me. And, of all things trust in the Lord to Whom I had long given my life.
It was a new kind of struggle. My body had borne a whole set of complicated things. I could only win by losing. By laying aside self-serving defenses and justification, and flinging myself upon the One Who loves me, Who gave me life, and would show me how to recover it.
I had to think differently about myself, about who I am, and about my strength. Paul said, "In my weakness is my strength." Lord, give me eyes to see that. To cling to You, and follow You in this time of uncertainty and debilitation.
So, relief comes. Peace is there. I am ready to face this strange, unexpected, and overtaking challenge.
How I need your prayers. How we all need to be praying for each other. "I pray for you every morning, Arthur," my hairdresser said after she cut my hair today. "Seriously?" Oh yes. Let's be serious together about the deepest things of the journey with Jesus.
Arthur A Rouner, Jr -
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ARTHUR ROUNER MINISTRIES
All this is from God, who reconciled us to Himself through Christ, and has given us the ministry of reconciliation. . ."