We are not alone
I have spent the last two months trying to recover from a fall that I experienced in early October. It has not been an easy road, both physically and psychologically. To add to my maladies, I contracted what I call a MOAC, that is, the mother of all colds. This is the first cold I have had in over five years. My loving wife tells me that the cold is a reaction to a pneumonia vaccination I received last Saturday (almost a requirement since I am fast approaching 75). I cannot believe this, because my fine-tuned mind tells me that there are no active pneumonia cells in the vaccine. My doctorate in literature trained me for this scientific pronouncement.
Being flattened by this cold, I missed work for the first time in over five years. I also missed various meetings, attending church, and being nice to all around me. Sorry Linda, for the terrible week that you had to survive with me.
Spending the better part of the past 32 years in some sort of discomfort (1985 I was in a terrible accident), I handle physical adversity with all the calmness of a two-year old. I have no patience; I will not accept advice (although I do eventually succumb); and I always feel abandoned by all those around me. I ask questions, such as: Why does Linda have to spend all day at The Table; doesn’t realize how sick I am? Why is it that nobody from church calls to see how I am faring? Why is it that my abandonment is always so obvious to me, but not to others?
Of course, we all know why. Our defenses are weakened from the illness, and we begin feeling sorry for ourselves. Nobody has abandoned us. Nobody has abandoned me. I am still God’s child, who is loved and cherished for who I am. Now that I am reduced to jelly by this false image of myself, suffering now with the untouchable post-nasal-drip cough, I can see that I was comforted throughout by a Loving God who cares very much for me and for all of us.
Our false self, created by the culture in which we live, addicts us to unrealistic values and expectations. We lose touch with our true self, the one made in the image of a Loving God, struggling to finds its deepest fulfillment in living in union with God.