I don't even know what to say!
God is good: how's that?
I don't know why, thus far, we have been granted mercy. But one week after my dear Big Bison of a husband had a heart attack out in our "yard", and three days after them slicing into his chest, and spreading his ribs like they were prying a wedge into a piece of firewood, and after cutting and cauterizing arteries in order to graft them together again, my man is home. With a huge, itchy, red, angry rash over much of his back, tummy and tail, like the boils that must have afflicted Job.
They open up your chest and handle your heart on Friday, and send you home on Monday: what a weekend. But, that's where we are. With eight new medications, and exhaustion and emotional trauma to boot.
But the choice was simple: you can die, now, before your kids are raised, OR you can undergo torture and some very, very hard work, and permanent lifestyle change, and POSSIBLY live to see your kids raised, and maybe even see them married, and MAYBE even bounce a grandkid on your knee, and hopefully, enjoy many long years with your wife/lover/best friend.
The Big Bison went for the torture, and I'm along for the ride.
How do people DO this?
But they do....every day. So many times, when I have spilled my agony out loud to others, I have been encouraged by the number of people who have a tale of a relative who not only survived, but who has enjoyed a long and fruitful and productive life, since.
So, thanks to all those folks for your stories, and thanks for the encouragement they bring. They really DO help me take heart, as it were.
My darling was spared for a reason: I know it! There is still work for him to do.
I will end this post with one of the best stories I have heard, so far, on this journey.
Recently, a friend of ours flatlined in the back of an ambulance on the way to the hospital. He had fainted, and his friends called 911. He died on that ride, and was absolutely, completely dead, for somewhere between two and three minutes. All at once, as the vehicle continued on its way to the hospital, he opened his eyes, and began talking to the paramedic, as if nothing had happened! The paramedic was completely amazed! His remark was, "The other paramedics are never going to believe this one when I tell them!"
Fast forward to about a month later for our friend. This fellow's sister, who is in her 50's, and has Down's Syndrome, lives with our friend and his wife. One day, recently, his sister had a terrible case of diarrhea, and she had made a terrible mess in his home. He was on his hands and knees on the floor, cleaning up the awful mess, and as his wife walked by, he remarked to her, "You know, I could have been in heaven long about now."
Sometimes, the work that God has for us to do isn't so glamorous. Sometimes, it's downright unpleasant. But the fact of the matter is: God has purposes for each one of us in our lives. And whatever we do, even for the least of these, maybe even especially for the least of these, is worthy of being done with all our hearts.
|Picture from here.|
I guess my job right now, is the care and keeping of the Big Bison when he's weak. Seeing him suffering ANY pain is hard for me to bear, but to this, I have been called. It is my joy, and my privilege. May God grant me the skill to do what He has called me to do, May He fill up my empty cup, so that I can pour out something of value.