Saturday, May 10, 2008

Undoing

The first time I had a cervical disk bulge out, I was flat on my back for 6 weeks. The pain made natural childbirth seem like a mosquito bite. I could neither read nor watch the idiot box. Ponder that for a minute. Six weeks of staring at the ceiling, thinking about the meaning of life. For at least a year before that, I had been receiving subtle messages to S-L-O-W D-O-W-N. I heeded not. As a wise man said to me later, “Kim, you were given a period of ‘enforced rest.’”

There are many, many lessons to be learned from times such as that. Unfortunately, I have to learn some of them over and over again.

Personally, I think we are a speed-addicted society. (Soapbox Time!) Significance is measured by movement. It doesn’t necessarily matter where, how, or why we move...just so we keep on dancin’ as fast as we can. I stumbled across this alarmingly graphic passage once when I was in a receptive mode:

"Priests and prophets stagger from beer/and are befuddled with wine;they reel from beer, they stagger when seeing visions;/ they stumble when rendering decisions.
8 All the tables are covered with vomit/and there is not a spot without filth.
9 "Who is it he is trying to teach?/To whom is he explaining his message? To children weaned from their milk, /to those just taken from the breast?
10 For it is: Do and do, do and do, / rule on rule, rule on rule ; / a little here, a little there."
11 Very well then, with foreign lips and strange tongues/God will speak to this people,
12 to whom he said,/"This is the resting place, let the weary rest";

and, "This is the place of repose"— but they would not listen.
13 So then, the word of the LORD to them will become:

Do and do, do and do,/ rule on rule, rule on rule;/a little here, a little there—
so that they will go and fall backward,/ be injured and snared and captured. "
(Isaiah 28:7-13)

I am no theologian, but I got a message from that. Hundreds of years after it was written, it was rephrased through the living lips of Love:

“Come to me, all of you who are weary and carry heavy burdens, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy to bear, and the burden I give you is light.” (Matt.11:28-30)

I suspect I’m not alone in being my own worst enemy. Why do so many of us keep on ‘doing and doing,’ vainly attempting excellence in obedience to societally-absorbed rules, self-flagellating with the whip of perfectionistic performance-orientation? That is not what is required. Relationship, not rigid rule-following, is the desire of Father’s heart. Quality of time, not quantity of tyrannical laboring to ‘accomplish'. Resting instead of working; being instead of doing.

Last night, I was fiddling around with my laptop trying to find forms of entertainment and/or stimulation for Katherine. It suddenly dawned on me that she didn’t give a flip about the bells and whistles; she just wanted me close to her. She is lonely. I got in the standing snuggle position, held her hand, and fixed my eyes about 6 inches away from her good one. I told her what I needed to tell myself. I said, “Katherine, I know how frustrating this must be for you, of all people. But I want you to know that you are accomplishing more of your greatest goals lying here in this bed than you did out of it. I don’t understand it, and I’m sure you don’t either, but God is using you to fulfill his purposes right where you are. Can you see it?” There was a slight pause, then she squeezed my hand. She gently stroked my cheek for good measure. My nearness was all she’d wanted the whole time I’d been messing around with gadgets. I think that’s what He really wants from me, too.

3 comments:

candycarrillo said...

Hi Kim,

I just made a CD of some of my favorite Christian songs, one of which is by Nicole. C. Mullen- "Come unto Me". I will try to give a copy to Brooks to get it to you and Katherine as he returns next week. Our prayers (and my tears) still flow daily, and I know it must be so hard to watch your precious child experience all the struggles, painful treatments, concerns, and loneliness you have been so beautifully describing. I hope a book comes of all this WHEN she is totally restored, and I DO Believe she will be. You have to know by now how much you are all loved- remember talking of "sharing in His sufferings"?
I love you,

Candy

Brittany said...

Miss Kim,
I just want you to know what a light for Christ you and Katherine are being right now. I run to my computer daily to see how I might pray for her and then when I read your blogs it's like I can feel the holy spirit talking to me. As a mother of 2 little boys I am inspired to love the lord with all my heart and to love my boys without abandon. Please tell Katherine how much we all (her friends from Samford) love her. Thank you miss Kim for sharing. This has been lifechanging for more people than you will ever know.

Brittany Wood Bolemon
(you and I met once when Katherine rode back to Samford with me... my parents live in Buford)

JHayes said...

Kim,
More from Isaiah! This is what I have taped to my mirror: "For thus said the Lord God, the Holy One of Israel: In returning and rest you shall be saved: in quietness and in trust shall be your strength." Isaiah 30:15 (Easier said than done, I know!)Thanks for blogging. I still think you are awesome! Jerris and I continue to pray!

Julie