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Thursday, October 08, 2009

A Little Sunrise Story

There's a lot going on these days.
I fell to the evil wormy "FDTP disease" that almost everyone got (most of the staff) after coming home. A cold virus of some time that was probably just compounded by sheer exhaustion.
I think I sort of knew that waking up early and going to sleep late and expending myself with such vigor every day for a couple weeks was going to make me sick. I did it, and it did. But it was worth it. Still, I feel bad for my home that I had to come back sick to.
No matter how many times I've done it, I still don't know why I've never learned for good not to wash my hair when my ears are feeling sensitive--when I've blown my nose out and my ears are feeling like evacuated bomb shelters. But I did--I hate having dirty hair--and I went to sleep with a ringing in my ears that got worse and worse.
I was restless but half-asleep for the first part of the night, and it was only at around 1 in the morning that I realized I was wide awake with full, fantastic pain in both ears. I've had earaches a lot, but I can usually tell you which ear hurts more than the other; this time both ears hurt so fiercely that I couldn't tell you if it was an ear infection or a pole that had impaled my head in one ear and out the other.
I tried everything. I tried holding very still and relaxing my breathing. I tried to think positive thoughts, I tried praise time for everything I could think of, I tried praising the Lord for the pain. But after several hours of a very tense attempt at relaxation, I would grit my teeth and clench my fists and squeeze my eyes so hard that tears would come out and I would think, "Oh great, here I am, crying like a stupid baby."
I started thinking about the different kinds of pain. How I can handle some very very ouchy pain as long as I know where it's coming from, or that it's a surface kind of pain, or if I can see it, or if I know it's healthy or helping me somehow. The kind of pain that I can't handle a lot of is the kind that just begins from some place in my body and causes that whole area to clench in pain. I don't like having to desperately try to focus on other things and hypnotize myself away from the pain. I'd rather think about it and go "raaahhhh" and have something to bite down on (lucky Joan of Arc and those leather gloves).
But that doesn't really work when you know the only way to really get over the pain is to go to sleep.
So you try to find yourself an angle where the pain will sort of feel a little more bearable, just pulled back over the line of "aggggghhh" enough that you can have a little pant and seduce yourself to sleep. You sit up, lean against a pillow, lie down straight, lie down with your ear in a pillow, cover your head with a pillow. You find some positions that are soooort of maaaaybe the answer, and some positions that are whoa whoa no no that's not it. But you still can't go to sleep.
I started getting all theological with myself. I started trying to think of any sins I might have committed, or anything the Lord might whip out an earache to try to teach me, and I couldn't really think of anything that stood out to me more than all the other stuff. I tried to ask the Lord what key I could claim, and I claimed so many keys.
At 5, the sky outside my window was turning a sort of greyish tint. I put on my housecoat and went downstairs, turned on the video that was in the VCR and drank so many cups of hot hot water that I emptied the thermos. Then, when I realized I wasn't really watching Tarzan but rather continuing my mental struggle for a miracle of healing, I switched it off and sat myself above a pot of boiling water with a towel above my head. And when that didn't really work (it made my face quite hot and moist), I refilled the thermos and trudged back up to bed with a last hot cup of water. I walked out onto the balcony, sat down on the deck chair, and looked up at the sky.
It was so pretty. Kind of a "sweetie-grapefruit" tint of pinky-green, with grey and yellow all in a big swirl like a special kind of McFlurry. It looked so yummy, and the wind was just cold enough to make my body feel fresh and special.
And for some reason, I realized in a kind of quiet way, that the reason I didn't get my healing miracle, and the reason I was awake all night in pain, was because Someone wanted me to see the sunrise.
I realized, all night I'd done a lot of talking to God and telling Him what lessons I'd learned, what verses promised me healing, and trying to patronize Him into giving me a quick 'n easy sleep. I kept being noisy in my head, clenching and squeezing and tossing and turning. All at once, sitting outside in that chilly dawn, I felt all the words from Jesus that I hadn't waited long enough to hear pouring down like they were coming from the sky.
I knew I'd been busy. I've had a lot to think about and a lot of decisions to make, but I hadn't really had any of those "eureka" moments where I'm sitting with Jesus and it all makes sense and I just want to be near Him. And now I had one. At 5 in the morning, in a housecoat, with a cup of hot water.
All of a sudden the cup of water seemed to be doing the trick, and my ears weren't in a gripping pain anymore. Sure, they were still pulsing with a dull pressure, and they felt like they were carrying gallons of water in them, but they mostly felt like stubborn fat boys who were getting all quiet and obedient looking at the tremendous sky.
It was a moment when my heart said, "Thank You that life isn't easy, and You can't swoop down and pull me out of it, but thank You that I am alive, I'm safe, I have You, and You make the pain worth it every time."


Blogger Lei said...

i love it

10/08/2009 11:04 PM  
Blogger Thomas said...

Wow. Amazing story Florence! You are one of those people that make you sit up and listen...ever thought of writing novels(not to say in any way that I think your story is fictional)?

10/09/2009 3:20 AM  
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