Day 32 ~ Room With a View

saltinesDry toast….7-up…. weak tea…. saltines. What do these things have in common?

Yea…. that.

And “that” has been my life for the past few days. I’m thankful to report that I’m feeling so much better, if not much stronger yet, but well enough to jot a few thoughts down on Day 32 of this season of Lent.

I’m generally a pretty good sick person. Not too demanding, just bring me some toast and a few ice chips once in a while and make sure I’m still kickin’. So it surprised me when, at the height of illness, when I felt sooo sick I also found myself thinking things like, “There’s no way I’m ever getting over this”, “’OK….I might get better, but I’ll never be totally better”, “I’ll have to go back to work part-time for a week at least”, and my personal favorite – I tell you the truth – “I don’t think I’ll ever be able to drive again!”

That thought, coupled with some pretty weird, hallucinogenic dreams were probably fever induced, but they were very real not more than 48 hours ago! So, I’ve had some time to look at the world passing by from my second story bedroom window (all non-sick people, probably) and wonder how it is that physical illness has such an impact on one’s mental, emotional and even spiritual health. I’m sure there are all sorts of scientific research papers and peer-reviewed journal articles that provide statistical data, but you’ll have to go find them! However,…. if you’re up for non-scientific theorizing (what I do best), read on….

I think it’s a safety/loneliness thing.

IMG_6013While our bodies are doing their best to fight off nasty intruders like viruses, our minds just hold on and try to keep up with the process. To have your body literally being attacked by little critters that want to take you down is really humbling – and a little creepy – but mostly a reminder that the health most of us enjoy each and every day isn’t guaranteed to us and is to be cherished. When you’re sick, you can’t just “snap out of it” and move on. You have to ride the wave, take care of what you can and wait it out (and eventually break down and seek medical attention!)

And there’s not a whole lot you can do about it.

And that doesn’t feel very safe. In fact, it makes you feel pretty much vulnerable to anything else that may come to join the virus conga line.

So as I’ve been hearing the sounds of the neighborhood; cars coming and going, neighbors calling out to one another, UPS trucks making their rounds and the sound of distant train whistles, there may have been a time or two that I wished I could be “down there” and not stuck in bed next to my now melted ice chips and stale toast. That feeling of being separated from everyone else or somehow removed from the flow of normal life has never struck me as it has the past few days.

Then today (when the fever broke!) I realized it was actually a very familiar feeling. It’s easy when you’re in that upstairs room looking down to believe that everyone else is doing just fine. Everyone else is healthy. Everyone else is having a great day. Everyone else is contributing to society.

(And it always comes back to the big one….)

Everyone else doesn’t wake up with a hole in their heart because part of it is missing.

And the longing to be “down there” instead of up here is just another kind of illness – a loneliness that sometimes tries to convince us that we’ll never be downstairs people again.I shall not want

But this is what Jesus has to say about all that! (And I’m so thankful for the clarity that only his words can bring to this muddled mind of mine…)

“And he said to them, ‘Come away by yourselves to a lonely place, and rest a while.’ For many were coming and going, and they had no leisure even to eat.” Mark 6:31

At least eight times in the gospels, we read of Jesus and the disciples going to a “lonely place” to rest, to eat, to get away from all the people….the “down there” people. Jesus reminds us that there is healing even in the lonely places. It is there that we can stop long enough to just be with him and let him speak to our hearts once they settle down enough to listen.

I don’t think anyone likes feeling separated from everyone else, at least not for too long, but Jesus clearly needed the space in order to keep his mind set on God’s plan and not on his own or anyone else’s.

So, while I’m not suggesting that getting a stomach virus is a recommended way of spending alone time with God,  I can attest to the fact that when we are in the lonely places – and we start asking questions, He is always faithful to speak words of insight and wisdom, maybe not in the exact words we expected, but always in the words we need to hear.

Just some post-feverish insight from the gal upstairs.

Much love,

Shellie

I Shall Not Want ~ Audrey Assad

From the love of my own comfort
From the fear of having nothing
From a life of worldly passions
Deliver me O God
From the need to be understood
And from a need to be accepted
From the fear of being lonely
Deliver me O God
Deliver me O God
And I shall not want, no, I shall not want
When I taste Your goodness, I shall not want
When I taste Your goodness, I shall not want
From the fear of serving others
Oh, and from the fear of death or trial
And from the fear of humility
Deliver me O God
Yes, deliver me O God
And I shall not want, no, I shall not want
When I taste Your goodness I shall not want
No, I shall not want, no, I shall not want
When I taste Your goodness I shall not want
When I taste Your goodness I shall not want
I shall not want
I shall not want
Songwriters: Audrey Assad / Bryan Brown
I Shall Not Want lyrics © Music Services, Inc

About Shellie

Welcome ~ I am a mom, a wife, a friend, a sister, a daughter, a dreamer and a writer. But most of all I am a woman of faith - I have a deep longing to know and love....God.
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