Wrapped in the golden haze of this early summer evening, I stare out the small square of window that remains unblocked by the air conditioning unit and the closed blinds. Faded roses, in desperate need of pruning, grab my attention. If it’s possible to feel like a spent blossom looks, then I do. Long week.
Knowing that my area is sliding into the tortuously warm sunny season deepens the weariness. Tonight, thankfully, the temperature is bearable. Even pleasant.
Kate asks us what we: want.
Tomorrow is another day, Scarlett says.
Another doctor’s visit.
This life of chronic illness is one of slow, uphill climb toward a peak always hidden. Some days I face the trek with brave, squared shoulders and a smile on my face. Other days, I sit, back pressed against the immovable ledge, feet dangling into nothingness. There is no end in sight and the idea of continuing grates on the soul.
I want an end.
My thoughts are not bleak. I’m not hopeless. What I am is tired. Tired of the pain in my side, of seeing the doctor, of not sleeping well, of being tired. Tomorrow’s visit is about a prescription. Next month is the needle and the vials. In the not-distant future are the biopsy and the MRI.
I’m sure what I need is to have a good cry, the kind that sends me crashing into the oblivion of dreamless sleep. Things will look better in the morning. I want them to look better now, but if there is one thing I have learned, it’s that joy is the grit that gets you through the not-better moments. It keeps you looking into the hope of the guaranteed future in the presence of the Lord.
These mountain pauses, I don’t think my Savior condemns me for them. I think He sits next to me, in the space of grace, understanding that my spirit longs to fly but my body is made of cement. He points out things to me, things in the valley below that only He and I know about. It is our history together. Deceptively beautiful meadows filled with gorgeous, poisonous blooms. Sticky, dark swamps. Crossroads.
The rock pokes my back. Dirt feels rough beneath my hands. Sweat slides down my neck. I will not sit here long, for it is not comfortable. Difficult as the journey is, it is preferable to remaining still. I know He will offer me His hand and pull me onward soon. Where would I be, if not for the Lord? Yes, if not for the Lord. Isn’t that the tagline of our lives?
Some days I feel as if there is no end, but my theology preaches otherwise.
I want the otherwise.
More than that, more than wanting an end, what I am learning, slowly, to want the very most is God. Give me God. I am no saint. I whine. I complain. I sometimes swear. But if I have to spend the rest of my life attempting to surmount the Everest of sickness but the taxing ascent, the climb that will take everything I have, means knowing and loving Him better, if it means the true and sweet intimacy of relationship with the Master, then tired as I get, cranky as I can be, give me the thin air and the taunt muscles and the inability to look back for fear of falling. If in the mysteriousness of Divine will and fallen universe this obstacle is what is required to keep me close to His side, then so be it.
Lord Jesus, on days like today when I cannot take another step, please give me more of You. When I tremble in fear of the unknown, strengthen my trust in You. When I weep in the pain and the sorrow, comfort me. Most of all, Lord of All, please allow me, as You did Moses, to know and see You. I do not want to be anywhere You aren’t.
I find particular comfort in this psalm set to music right now.
May you be encouraged.