I am still pondering my conversation with God yesterday and realizing that I am starting over today. I feel lost in how to begin. I am thinking that my business meetings with God need to include more listening and less of my own input. Not that my own input is bad. I’ve just been missing the point (a habit of mine lol!). I see myself like that elephant on Sesame Street who asks for directions. He asks a man who starts out by saying, “Well you go down this street” and the elephant interrupts and says, “Go! Ok” and races off only to return to say, “Uh, go where?” and the man starts again, “Well, as I was trying to say, you go down this street past the white house and turn left” and away the elephant goes again only to return with the need for more information. Patience is a hard earned virtue :)
On a different topic, I have been thinking about chronic illness and handicaps. They feel similar, in some ways, because they are there 24/7. There isn’t a quick fix and sympathy implies that you are broken instead of built this way (or maybe we just “are” this way now?). I don’t mean handicapped as if there is a disadvantage here. I may not have the energy or ability to do what someone else can, but how important is that? I’m not sure which are the “disadvantaged” really.
Perhaps MCS slows me down in ways that make the important things in my life the priority. Who knows? It’s just not a place of focus for me. What do you say to someone who has no legs, “Oh, I’m sorry you are not like me? I’m sorry you can’t run like I can?” That is no help or encouragement. Maybe being like you isn’t better! It’s not that I don’t believe in God’s healing, it’s that I don’t really care if He heals me or not. It’s His choice. It’s in His hands and in the mean time my purpose, and life in Him includes this handicap. I’m thinking of 2 Corinthians 12:7 where Paul says, “in order to keep me from becoming conceited, I was given a thorn in my flesh” (underline mine) I find it amazing that though Paul asks for God to remove his thorn (to which God answers by saying, “My power is perfected in weakness”) Paul calls it a gift. I believe it was a gift… a gift just like speaking in tongues or discernment. It kept Paul from being conceited, which is, thinking to highly of himself. It kept him from having contempt for others. It gave him the gift of understanding.
Having struggles gives me eyes to see others in a similar boat. I was thinking about what helps and what is embarrassing and hurtful. For me, it is the difference between “seeing” and accommodating. We do a lot of accommodating in this country. There is a law in place that accommodates for people in all kinds of circumstances, like people with handicaps, people who smoke, have children, are of different nationalities, are low income, shut-in, or abused the list goes on and on.
Most public buildings make accommodation for the disabled, which means they are wheelchair accessible. It’s hard to explain how helpful that is, but there is still something missing in the equation--true understanding. I am not sure how to explain the difference but I can sure tell the difference in my own life. For instance, I can immediately tell when my husband is accommodating me vrs understanding me. One makes me feel shamed and put down. I’m not even sure I can explain why, but the other makes me feel honored, heard and seen.
I remember once being in a rustic campground right along the river. Rustic, river camping means: the privys are up on a mound many feet above water level (for obvious reasons). These particular privys were steeply mounded with knurly paths leading up to heavy bear proof doors. But, looking up from the road you could clearly see the handicap accessible sign on the door post. Yup, these bathrooms accommodated for people with handicaps but who ever built those privys didn’t “see” the handicapped with eyes of understanding. How would they have been built differently if those that build them spent several months in a wheel chair?
Understanding takes investment but that investment opens the door to real kindness.
I’m going to skip this report today just because I’m still seeking God on how to understand them from God’s perspective. (still listening)
1) (business meeting with God)
3) (Act of Random Kindness)
4) (Clean something)
5) (Order something)