In Junior High School, in my small mountain hometown, there were two elective classes intended to expose us, wee hicks that we were, to Culture. Well, Simplified Culture, at least. Those who were so inclined could take band; those who were not, could take choir. Both were taught by the same hold-over hippie instructor, and both featured acoustic guitar accompanied 60s and 70s “folk” music fairly heavily, with an emphasis on Simon & Garfunkel.
I was not instrumentally inclined, so choir it was, learning basic harmonies off splotchy blue-purple mimeographed lyric sheets in a converted Quonset hut that smelled of football equipment, rosin, sunshine, and that odd “almost feet” smell most buildings housing teenagers can take on.
The last little while, I’ve had those tunes running through my head. We’ve had some interesting medical adventures related to the Tall, Dark, and Slightly Neanderthal fellow I married, involving shoulders, unpleasant surgery, vastly unpleasant drugs, and lots of trips to medical types with varying degrees of personable behavior (and, dare I say it? intelligence. Oh, good gravy, there’s one tech I’d still like to smack…)
Being a bit of an inveterate Pollyanna, here’s my list of why it’s not so bad.
* We still have an income, small though it may be, and we can make that income stretch.
* We get to spend a lot of time together, and still like each other.
* It’s not going to sink us long-term, as all the medical stuff is covered. Short-term will work out.
* We’ve had instance after instance of just the right blessing showing up at just the right time.
* We’ve made it through hard things before, and come out just fine.
* Scripture says, over and over: And it came to pass. Not once is it written: And it came to stay. These challenges will not be a forever thing.
There used to be one more blessing on my list: I don’t live in Idaho. For some reason, I had it in my head that any challenge would be so very much more challenging if I had to deal with it in Idaho. Then we moved to Idaho. And it’s really okay here. So I had to drop that one from the list, in the interests of integrity.
One very big blessing: we have a small network of very loving family and friends who are willing to come alongside us and bear the burden with us, whether that happens long distance through phone calls and email, or in person through dropped-off cookies and a dinner or two. Compassion, commiseration, and just a good, old-fashioned hug from someone who cares… it’s all part of being the functional limbs of the Body of Christ, and it’s pretty nifty to me. Do you think maybe that’s what He had in mind the whole time? That we could experience, in small and simple ways, how tremendous Love can be?
Rebel against despair: there is always a hand to hold on the bridge.