Yesterday, I finally made it home for a few precious hours. My dear friend Debbie Hayden had cooked the roast, potatoes, carrots, and squash I spooned onto my plate. As I sat down to eat the second "real" meal I'd had in a week, I thanked God for the friends that have made this crazy and horribly difficult week possible. I wept that there are people who love me enough to care for me in such tangible ways.
I, who am cloistered most days in a universe of my own fanciful design, writing about people who exist only in my imagination, have experienced the kindness of flesh and blood humans and am astounded.
My Wonder Girls (two marvelously energetic Shih Tzu's) were having a terrible time because of my long hours away. They do not prefer puppy pads for their potty needs, but will use them if they just can't wait anymore. They've had entirely too much "just can't wait" this week.
We were struggling, then Linda Buchanan text'd me. "I'm coming back from Oxford. Can I walk your dogs?" I blinked back tears. Yes! That one gift of generosity turned this difficult week around. Since then, Jan Musgrove and Yvonne (who lives in my rent house and works incredibly long hours) have also walked and loved those furry bright spots in my life.
When I returned home yesterday, my precious balls of fur greeted me as if I hadn't neglected them at all. They loved me and forgave me.
I should be as generous with the people I love.
What if every homecoming was greeted with the unconditional love of my wonder dogs? We might have more prodigals finding their way back home. If they knew that unconditional love and joy-filled acceptance awaited, they might not hesitate when they finally come to the end of themselves.
When two ladies from Blue Springs offered to help, including stay with Jamie, I thanked them, but thought, who really wants to sit up at night in a hospital with a sick person? Maybe no one, but Shelby Pannell was more than willing. I waited until I was dropping in my tracks to accept her offer, but that night's rest has kept me going.
Getting away from the hospital to run errands and wash clothes would not have been possible without the generosity of Shelby Pannell and Jane Witt, who stayed with our rowdy patient to give Sam and me a much needed break.
I saw the sky, breathed in the crisp fall air, and longed for more. More time outside. More of a break. More delivering my problems into capable hands and simply breathing for a while.
How foolish I am! There's not one day that goes by without the option of problem-transfer. Our Lord stands ready and waiting to handle every problem I have, every problem you have. I know that. I've lived it. So why do I hang onto the little stuff, as if I might, by some miracle, be able to manage something on my own? I can't. It's all too big for me. It's all too big for you.
Why not give it all to God? Every problem, big or small, every heartache, every sorrow. Let Him handle life so we can concentrate on breathing. Being. Loving.
There's no way to mention all the hospital staff who have cared for Jamie with such love while pouring out love and concern on Sam and me. They have helped with everything from an extra blanket to thermostat adjustment to cups of steaming black coffee to an understanding ear when I'd run out of steam.
I've been the listening ear, the caring physician, the gentle helper. I haven't often been the receiver.
I am humbled by this experience, and left wondering whether my life might not have been a bit easier if I had been willing to accept a helping hand, invite a few people into my life, step out of my invented world into the real world.
I have seen you, my fellow humans, and I am in awe of you. I have felt your love and I'm offering my love, meager as it is, in return.
When God created humans, he looked at them with love, and joy, and just a bit of sorrow for the mess He knew we'd make of things. He looked at us and proclaimed, "it is very good."
I, too, have looked at mankind this week. We aren't perfect, my friends, but in all of us there's a bit of that first creation, a touch of the hands of God, and it is still very good.
Live well, dear ones. Love with abandon. Give without measure. And, every once in a while, receive with gratitude.
Well done, my friends. You've done this just right, and I thank you.
#gratitude moreblessedtogive #thanks