Sunday, May 6, 2007

Inopportune Sickness

This morning I awoke with a relapse of a cold that has lingered uninvited and mostly unappreciated for the last three weeks.

I was sick with a wretched sore throat while visiting my long time friend Erin in Dallas, TX. The only mercy there was that she happened to be sick, too. So we took it easy and watched lots of Anne of Green Gables. (It was while visiting her that we happened in on a Barnes and Noble where I got to see my book in a bookstore for the very first time!) The visit proved to be more memorable because I was sick. Pain sharpens my senses. I enjoyed the salty bacon she made for me upon arrival much more than I would have had I been well.

The cold revisited me while Dale and I camped in Moab, Utah, the very next week. This was our first long vacation in awhile. No speaking, no Soulation Chat, no email. It was supposed to be an adventuring, holiday time for us. But I got that razorblade feeling in the back of my throat again. So when I faced the windy, dusty, lightening, rainy, windy, sleety climate of Moab with three Welsh Corgis and an adventurous Jeeping husband (More on that week's learnings later) I felt attuned to notice more. I had my cold to reckon with and it kept me thankful for the little things like sturdy tents, friends to repair broken down Jeeps, air conditioning and sunscreen.

I thought I was better, but two days back home and the cold has re-appeared, which makes me suspicious that I never really got over it. As each swallow reminds me, pain brings us into the present. Each moment of this long day has stretched out, from the wee hours of morning to the dark clouds of afternoon. But today I've also seen more, the courage, willingness and capability of my husband who has fetched and carried for me again and again, the sweet laziness of dogs who are happy to cuddle and doze with me, the amazing power of chicken broth to soothe and the temporary relief of throat lozenges.

When I'm sick I see the hedge God has put around me. This morning as I shut the window on a cold, icy wind I thought of Corrie Ten Boom who was sick when carted off to a dank prison. I don't think I would have survived.

Though the pain makes me perk up and notice, I'm ready to be well. That's one of the lessons of colds, they require stopping, resting. There's no hurrying good health. In the meanwhile I will wait and watch and taste and see that God is still good.