Growing up on a farm, I learned stables are drafty and damp. No matter how diligent the stable hands are; you will always find animal poop and the accompanying flies. The animals’ water isn’t filtered and the animals’ food is tossed in an unwashed trough.
Having spent a lifetime as a nurse, I’ve witnessed the pain and trauma suffered by individuals due to accidents and injuries. Fishhooks, knives and nails were never meant to penetrate one’s flesh. Without anesthesia and a surgical team, these experiences can be painful and messy.
As I ponder this joyful season of celebration, I can’t help but follow the thread of Jesus’ life from baby to man, from the stable to the cross. Logic tells me, “if you want to rescue someone from a bad situation; you better be strong and have the right plan and equipment.”
Yet, Jesus rescued my sin tainted self through a humble birth and humble death because his flesh isn’t sin tainted. So, I guess you could say he has the right equipment. He resurrected from death, so it seems he has supernatural strength. His Father God came up with the plan because he loves us and wants his kids with him always.
The … Read More »
“We were married 44 wonderful years the day Ann took the car and died driving off the road into a deep ravine. Even though the Alzheimer’s caused her to forget my name, I didn’t mind taking care of her. It’s been two years, and I still miss her so.” Joel and myself listened as our friend Tom recounted details surrounding his life with Ann, her decline into Alzheimer’s and traumatic death.
Tom shared with us his grief filled stories many times before. He continued on, “I never expected her to get into the driver’s seat and drive away. She was always a woman who loved adventure but she hadn’t tried to drive for almost a year. Every day I look at her photos and breakdown. If she was still here, we could enjoy each other’s company.”
Patiently we listen to Tom’s stories of grief because we know tears and expressed sadness are important for healing after the death of a loved one. Expressed mourning, sorrow and guilt help to release bottled up pain and allow healthy healing.
I think Tom is stuck in his grief because he can’t seem to forgive himself for his lapse in Ann’s supervision resulting in her death.
“Tom, we … Read More »
Getting to know people is usually a delight to me. But typically, I don’t look forward to large social gatherings. Because of the noise, distractions and differing motives in attending large gatherings, I’ve found conversation can be dull and lack transparency.
The past weeks presented opportunities to be part of large gatherings. In anticipation of these social functions, I became aware of increasing tension in my neck, head and shoulders. This tension threatened to become an annoying headache. So, I sat myself down for a good transparent talking to.
“Bonnie, these social functions are an opportunity for you to encourage others with a smile and a few words of compliments and hope. Maybe, if you went with the expectation that your presence might help others and others might be an encouragement to you, the experience might be enjoyable.”
As I did some stretching exercises, I pondered the truths I had just spoken to myself and followed with this prayer. “God, I’m sorry for the worry and stressful thoughts I’ve been entertaining. Help me to be thankful for these social opportunities. Help me to expect you to use them for all of our good. Give my mind and body peace so I’m not tortured … Read More »