Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Times of Refreshing

I’ve been suffering a really uncomfortable summer version of the flu, complete with fever, body aches, and stuffy nose. This afternoon I’d taken meds and was laying in bed, near sleep, when I heard Mom’s voice over the monitor. She was singing hymns to herself, and in my half-awake state I had the sensation that the voice belonged to the mother of my childhood; my mama singing to me, focused on me, concerned for me. But then, in the same way one regains awareness of reality when awakening from a dream, I came to the present. In that not-quite-awake place where my conscious mind’s defenses did not reach, grief of loss had found its target. I was surprised by the intensity of the emotion. I felt despair. Resentment, anger, terrible love for my mother, and a sense of having been abandoned by her suffused me.

Miserable physically and hurting in my emotions, I cried out to the Lord. I begged him for refreshment of spirit.

Awhile later I began to chill. I lay huddled in bed awhile and then it occurred to me that just outside my front door the concrete steps were heated to egg frying temperature by the blast of the midday summer sun. I sat on the steps for awhile and then threw a blanket down onto the sun drenched grass. I stretched out and soaked in sunlight until I felt thoroughly warmed.

I got to my feet and wandered about the yard for a bit, then pulled the spigot on the hydrant and refilled the bird bath. I then turned the flow of cold water onto my bare arms to cool them from the sun’s heat. I watered the hosta and admired the beauty of its lavender blossoms, just beginning to unfurl.

When I came back inside I felt well enough to do a few household chores, and then I retreated to the couch to rest. I felt so much better. The Lord had answered my prayer. 

As caregivers, I believe our most difficult and vulnerable moments occur when we feel weak or infirm. This is especially true if the care recipient is someone who once provided nurture and support that is no longer present. A time of need will cause emotions of grief over the loss of that relationship to surface.  Illness, even a temporary case of the flu like mine, will cause childlike emotions; and today I longed for my mother's support.
God is so good.  He heard my childlike cry and soothed my aching body and my troubled spirit with sunshine and simple beauty. Tonight, though my flu symptoms are still present, I feel peace.

Scripture: "...turn to God...that times of refreshing may come from the Lord" (Acts 3:19).

1 comment:

  1. I am so glad that the Lord answered your prayer and gave you strength to carry on. He is almighty.