On Sleep, Sun Tag and Some Parts
I was at a full rest. So restful that I was asleep. I really don’t do that much these days. Sleep is like a long forgotten laughter to me. It would be sweet to have it again, but like laughter, it comes not often enough. Sometimes I try to think what it was like before. When I could lay my head down and rest in the knowing that I was going to wake as I went to sleep, full of peace.
But I digress. I wanted to talk about waking not sleeping.
It was one of those days when the sun played tag with the clouds. My ever limited window house brightened and darkened with the game. In the swing of the light I had been working on more and less than I wanted to be working on. My mind, which has always been my one clear place, is too often fuzzy these days. Weariness so grabbed it that it bobbed my head in front of my work. I set my laptop down and laid myself on the couch, hoping that I would be able to take a short nap and then get back to my writing.
I woke ninety minutes later. As is common these days, my heart was pounding at my ribs as though it were trying to escape a fire. I sucked all the air out of the room into my lungs and shot upright. My head, which was supposed to clear with the nap, spun around the pounding for a moment and then I realized my heart was doing its thing. I stopped and took deep breaths until the beating slowed.
Being ill is new for me. I have always, no matter what has gone on in my life, been a healthy girl. My body has been as strong as my mind was sharp. Now, though, my body betrays me. It complains at me, threatens me and takes control of my plans. Its frustrating. It feels well at the oddest of times and badly when it is most inconvenient. Mostly, it gets in the way of what I want to do.
Endocrine issues mess with your whole being. They are, after all, the control centers of the body. When one of the glands goes haywire, all of the body goes haywire. Its sometimes frustrating. Its sometimes emotional. Its always unwanted.
When my heart had enough mercy to slow itself down, I went after my medicine. That is also new for me. I am the granddaughter of a Native American who did not take pharmaceuticals. She and her herbs kept me spry all of my childhood and the constitution she developed in me has been strong.
I took the pill, then sat in my study chair and picked up my computer. I stared at the screen for a minute but could not write. Instead, the betrayal in my body rose up to my throat, pushed past the lump raising havoc in my thyroid and took roost in my tear ducts. The weight mushed the tears out and clouded my screen. I didn’t fight it. Its useless to do so. Instead I leaned my head back and asked the Lord for help to get through it.
His voice is sometimes so quiet I have to strain to hear it. But it was not so this time. He was gentle, but clear.
“When one thing is messed up, Beloved, all things are messed up.”
I don’t want one thing messed up. I don’t want anything messed up. When I see things messed up I get up and unmess it. But this? I can’t unmess it. I simply have to go through the process with others who know how to make it right, to change the way it acts, or to remove it from me so that it will no longer misguide and torture me.
Its hard. I cry more than I admit, mostly when I am alone. I know there are people who understand what it feels like when a part of the whole is acting so very wrongly. I talk to them when I need to know I am not alone, when I need advice, when I need encouragement. But the truth is I am the only one who lives with the result of what my thyroid is doing to me.
My Abba remained gentle when he added,
“I understand. My body has malfunctioning parts too…”
I thought of the body of Christ, all its parts and all its workings Those of us who are meant to work well together to create a space filled with Christ and his love, first in the home, then in the church organization, then in the city and the world….
When one part is creating havoc, the rest can get messed up. The pain of one who is refusing to work as God has intended will bring destruction to others. It will also bring tears. And like my thyroid, when a part of the body is functioning wrongly, the change must come from something other than the self.
I am quite sure my thyroid has no idea why it’s doing what its doing. But my doctors are searching out the problem and planning how to fix it. My job is to cooperate, to trust they are doing me good and that in the end, my messed up part will be well. God, like my doctors, will come and deal with his messed up church body. Our part is to cooperate, to trust he is doing us good and that in the end we will be well. We must admit we cannot fix ourselves and trust his ways of accomplishing it. I have no Idea why I need a radiologist to fix me. But my doctors know. God, too, knows what to use to fix his body.
The process is not fun. Much of my days are done by 3 pm because I simply can’t make my body go any further. Such was my sun tag day. As I rested my head and Abba assured me of his unending knowing of my circumstances, the tears slowed. I gave to the fact that for today, my body is not right. I gave to the fact that it is going to be a process. I held on to the fact that my Abba Father is with me and helping me and will, in the end, see me to a healthier body.
He will also do so for his own.