Thursday, February 28, 2013

An Invitation to Trust

It seems like it was ages ago, but perhaps it was only three months...

I was sitting, endless hours, in the waiting room. Keeping anxieties at bay with an ebook, but my reader died. Amusing myself listening to the darling nonagenarian blurting out commentary on the current state of affairs...but her name had been called.  Along with almost everyone else. Wondering if they forgot me? If the pain in my bottom might soon be greater than the one on the inside? Shushing all the what ifs. Grasping at gratitude.

A young, very young, woman came in with four little stair-step children, all preschoolers I would guess, the youngest still in a carrier. They quietly followed her through the registration process in wide-eyed silence. In a little row, they filed along and sat down across from me. Six big eyes stared at me. Six little legs swung. Six little hands folded in three little laps. 

This is usually when I begin to bemoan the fact that my children seem to be completely devoid of whatever gene is required for such calm and orderly behaviour...

Just then a large and odd looking bath chair contraption rattled by.  Six wondering eyes followed and then turned to mamma.  She smiled.

A nursed wheeled a severely handicapped woman by and legs stopped swinging.  Once out of sight all eyes turned to mamma.  She smiled.  Legs resumed swinging and eyes watched.

An eerie cry echoed down the hall.  Eyes widened and turned to mamma.  She smiled...extra reassuringly.  Shoulders relaxed and legs swung again.

Babies cried. 

Nurses called out. 

Alarms rang.  

Six little eyes sought mamma's and she smiled.

It was enough.  For now.  Maybe answers would come later.  

My turn finally came.  Kind nurses and gentle doctors did all they could but they couldn't budge the system.  Anxiety rose.  Uncertainty and pain are a nasty combination.

Then I remembered.  

Seek His eyes. 

He smiled reassuringly and invited me to trust.

My shoulders relaxed.  

Months have passed.  Waiting has wearied.  Uncertainty has vexed.  Friends have hugged and prayed.  I've fallen apart and gotten up again.  Panic rises quickly when the mind is focused on the pain.

However, I've had frequent reminders of those six little eyes and six swinging legs.  Every time I remember, I seek His eyes.

Every time I find His eyes are already upon me, anticipating my need.

All I can see is love. And an invitation to trust.

It is enough.

For today.

Maybe all the questions will be answered someday when we go Home.

For now the warmth of His tender gaze is enough.

I will be with you, and I will protect you wherever you go...
I will be with you constantly 
until I have finished giving you everything I have promised.

Whom have I in heaven but you?
I desire you more than anything on earth.

My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak,
but God remains the strength of my heart;

He is mine forever!

Genesis 28:15

Psalm 73:25-26

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

The Original Ideal Woman

A few weeks ago I came out of the closet about some of my health issues.  I think I even promised to be more vulnerable in my writing. Well, this could be more than you bargained for...

Four months now I have been inactive.  Not only am I not exercising in any formally recognizable manner, I find myself moving as little as possible in all matters of daily living.  It's just a little less painful that way.  There's a geeky corner of my brain that would like to calculate the precise number of unburned calories this would amount to, but the rest of my brain is currently too doped to quite make sense of the numbers.  Add to that fact, the current disturbance in my pelvis is causing some bloat-like symptoms...and, well, none of my clothes fit.  Except for the stretchy ones, that is.  I've become adept at all kinds of wardrobe disguises, but nothing hides the bare facts.  Bare facts.

Full disclosure:  I also ate a lot of barbeque chips on the way home last night.  More than anyone needs to...however many that is.  They were so good.  Anyway, now that you know that...

More vulnerable means admitting that I looked at an old picture and found myself wishing I was that thin again.  I detest of this kind of thinking!

When I taught English to recent immigrants I learned how absolutely cultural are our concepts of beauty.  My Asian students commented when they thought I was getting "fatter" (ya gotta love the lack of euphemisms in a limited vocabulary!) and my African students thought I was too skinny.  I vowed to remember that beauty is culturally defined, therefore hardly a standard to be too worried about.

Three times this week I had encounters with other women wherein the issues of weight and body image came up.  Sigh.  I look at my beautiful friends and I love them.  I have written posts about how God made us beautiful and I believe it with all my heart.

However, all this excellent head knowledge isn't helping me one bit this week.  You're in luck though--I am going to share a thought that has helped a lot...

I'm about to let you in on a little unscientific and perhaps unorthodox theory I have:  I don't think Eve looked like Megan Fox.  Seriously.

When God created seems likely that He would create the most beautiful woman possible.  Keeping in mind that he created peacocks and the Himalayas, His ability is obvious.  Yet she probably didn't look a bit like any magazine cover we've seen.

The beauty of this original woman inspired her name.  When Adam saw her he said, "Whoa, man!!" and we've been called "whoa-man" or "woman" ever since.

Have you seen pictures of the oldest human bones that have been discovered?  Apparently, scientists think they're about 7,000 years old (which coincidentally lines up with the general timeline of when Eve would likely have walked the earth).  I sincerely doubt that she was hairy like an ape, but the general shape is pretty clear:

The good news, sisters?  We look more like the original ideal woman than like Paris Hilton.

Just sayin'.

Splendor and beauty mark his craft...

Psalm 111:3a