Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The sick dog

My daughter has been sick. Sick with the kind of illness that requires a mother to say things like "do not breath on anyone, touch anything, or even make eye contact with your brother and sister". I pulled out the Lysol, the bleach, and the gloves, and did my best impression of a quarantine. Of course I failed miserably as within an hour Thomas was walking around drinking from his sister's cup. I tried control, it didn't work for me. It really never has.

But sometimes sickness can be the gift. We dread it of course, even pray against it, but sometimes only in our weakness do we still ourselves long enough to acknowledge our weakness...and then subsequently acknowledge His strength. I'm speaking as someone who has no authority to say such things with any pretense of expertise, as from a physical perspective I am healthy and well, having never walked the path of a true and painful illness. However, I walked briefly along side of a friend once that carried a 6 month old baby girl in her arms, and also a terminal and aggressive tumor in her brain. During one of our visits she stated quite plainly, "I am grateful for the cancer because it has drawn me closer to Jesus". She considered the cancer, a gift. While I with little strength and faith was crying, falling apart, and mourning her before she was gone; she was still and grateful. Even today, I am not sure that I believe such a true and wise heart to be possible. I sing songs about trading my sickness for the joy of the Lord, and deep down I feel it ringing true for me only metaphorically. Can it be that God reveals himself to the weak, the sick, and the humble, in a far greater way than to those of us that walk with false perspective of our wellness? Could it be that we are the ones missing out on His glory? Could it be that they are the chosen ones to see His mighty strength, and that if we could taste it even for a moment, that we too would say things like "I am grateful for the cancer"?

After I gave up attempting to control the sickness in my home, I allowed my Ella out her bedroom and into the playroom. In the midst of her subdued play, she sat on the floor and constructed a model home for her stuffed animals. Though she wasn't attempting comedy, I couldn't help but laugh uncontrollably on the inside at what she had created. Oh the poor "sick dog" outside the gate. We all pity that soul that has been moved outside, the one that has been forced to live outside the "right" of what life should look like, the sick one. But perhaps there are a few "sick dogs" outside the gate that would not choose to be locked back up inside the pin for anything in the world. They have tasted the stillness and the strength and the glory of the field outside, and they are the ones looking back in...pitying us. Have you ever dared to consider that?

Linking up with Emily at Chatting at the Sky to unwrap this gift...

Amy

19 comments:

brianna said...

What a beautiful post! And, yes, I guess i have DARED to consider it, but only very briefly until my humanness reminds me of the reality of how hard that would be...Thank you for this truly challenging post. Truly.

Catherine said...

LOVE THIS! Thank you for this post. (and, I just noticed I linked up right after you on chatting with the sky!)

Liz Barnett said...

Which one of my kids slept in Ella's bed Saturday night?? Just want to be prepared :)

tracie @ {tsj} photography said...

amy, this is beautiful! i'm going through some health issues myself right now, but was diagnosed with ms last fall and as hard as that was, i tried to let everyone know it was something that the Lord gave to me. he chose me to carry it. and so the question was, "what am i going to do with what HE chose to give me." anyway. i could go on forever ...

just know i love this and quite frankly, needed the gentle reminder.

Steph S. said...

This is a gorgeous, beautiful post. I already love your blog and have only been reading for two days. I also headed over to Chatting At the Sky - I want to start unwrapping gifts on Tuesdays! :)

kathleenbasi.com said...

I sympathize with this: " I tried control, it didn't work for me." We go through this yearly, it seems...but usually in the winter, when we pass the viruses around like hot potato. I've all but given up, but never can quite allow it to happen, because our 3yo daughter, who has Down syndrome, has twice landed in the PICU on a ventilator because of viruses.

And yet you're right, those sick times have always stripped away the excess and placed our focus squarely back where it belongs.

My Bright Corner said...

YES, it's true! My Mom had leukemia twice, two bone marrow transplants, our family was separated for months on end and during that time, God was SO REAL. I think He desires to put us through difficult times because we realize how inconsequential we are without Him.

Ironically, I found this verse last night and posted it on my Twitter. "...I have chosen thee in the furnace of affliction." Isaiah 48:10b

Playing Sublimely said...

Love it, My Bright Corner :)!

the lovely paper shop said...

what a lovely blog you have here! and i really enjoyed this post--very insightful and well written! thank you.

i am also your newest follower! i will be back to read more! :)

Studio JRU said...

Wonderful post. Wonderful reminder to be still and be grateful. We can all work for that beautiful wise heart!

~Jennifer

Dear Lillie said...

This is such a beautifully written post!

peggy aplSEEDS said...

Although I don't believe God gives us sickness (I believe he allows it) the bible says "God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it." 1 Cor 10:13
In his goodness, He can always bring about good in whatever happens in our lives.

Southern Gal said...

Your words gave me pause today. Thank you for sharing it. Another something for me to ponder.

Kahler and Katy said...

first of all, i love this! and i love that in our weakness, HIS power can be made perfect.

secondly, thanks for the comment and the kind words! 'stranger encouragement' is always, well, encouraging! :) (but i guess you aren't a stranger anymore... nice to meet you, too!)

blessings.

Andrew and Meagan said...

thanks amy, this is really powerful truth- a good reminder for me.

I definitely try to control sickness too and pretty much freak out about the "throwing up" kind. God is always merciful but i think i also need to toughen up a bit.
here's my "funny" story/lesson from this spring:
http://amschmidtfam.blogspot.com/2010/05 /is-anyone-barfing-all-over-car.html

thanks for your posts!
meagan

Jo said...

I've just stumbled upon your blog ~ it's lovely!

Such a thought provoking post ~ provides reason for pause.

My husband is also an engineer and yet secretly I think he too would like to change his career choice ;) I'm so fortunate that he has a natural talent for carpentry. Our home has been blessed with his talents.

Melissa said...

What a compellingly honest and compassionate post. It's so easy to glibly mouth the words but walking the walk is infinitely harder and we are so frail sometimes. At least I know I am! Thankfully, the Spirit touches us at those times and tells us "My grace is sufficient". I lean on the idea that I will be given all the grace I need, when I need it and not a moment before. In the meantime, I love what you are saying and the way you say it. A little laughter heals the soul!

Lana K. W. Austin said...

As usual, I completely concur. I will say prayers for your little girl!

Blessings,
Lana

Family, Money and Stuff said...

Hi. This is my first visit to your site. I like what I see!

Great stuff. Powerful. I know what you mean ... I don't want to suffer or have anyone else in my family suffer, yet it does seem that through suffering we draw nearer to Christ. ... so which do I really want? Blessings or to know God? Interesting to consider. ... in the meantime, I will enjoy whatever blessing he does allow, and pray for knowledge of Him -however it comes.

Thanks for sharing! Stop by sometime :)

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