Thursday, April 29, 2010

Mercy Me

I am loath to say that I have never been a particularly merciful person. My "buck up and get over it" upbringing created a strength and fortitude in which I took enormous pride over the years. Though I have never parked in a handicapped parking place, I would recoil at the seemingly "healthy" woman in the Corvette who waltzed into Nordstrom, with little sympathy to her hidden body limitations, assuming she had one. And to me, there was just "something fishy" with the local woman in a wheelchair who stormed the doors of the Squeeze Inn and other local establishments, lawyer in tow, only to sue them for lack of ADA compliance.

That was before I broke my right arm...my jewelry making hand, my treble clef hand, my risotto stirring hand. Okay, it's not the same as being a paraplegic confined in a wheelchair, or a man being chained to a dialysis machine four times a week, or a women loosing her hair to cancer treatment...I know that. But even the slightest impairment or loss of your usual physical abilities can be painful, frustrating, humbling, and yes, even illuminating. Our bodies are so fragile and we take them for granted. It's a wonder the majority of us stumble (literally) through life without an injury or serious disease. And as one of those people, I never realized how profoundly your life can change in just the blink of an eye.

The little imaginary man on my shoulder who says "buck-up, Laurel" must be the same little creep that said "you can cross that creek, chicka..you're a country girl!" But he is wrong, and I have had a hard time not feeling sorry for myself in what has seemed like an ordeal to me. And those of you who know me well, know how easy it is to slip into the morbid places...i.e "what if I had a stroke? I'd never be able to cope with that!" Life function limitations like not being able to shower properly, wash your hair, brush your teeth properly (forget flossing!)are difficult to cope with for a mere six weeks, but what if you couldn't do it for an extended period? What if you never could?

God is ever gracious to us in our hour of need, and I am grateful for my broken wing. It opened my eyes to people who must struggle with limitations every day just to survive. I am blessed that my injury is only a temporary inconvenience, and not a life sentence. I am blessed that other people have been more "merciful" than me by their willingness to help me out, wash my hair, carry this, open that. Life is not about bucking-up and getting over it. It's about letting others share your pain and struggles and giving you mercy and grace, and it's about giving it back in return. Thank God that He has given us the best example of grace and mercy in Jesus Christ. Why does it take so long for so many of us to get it??

1 comment:

  1. Reminds me of when I had a hairline fracture in my foot. I didn't even need crutches, but had to hobble around for about 4-5 weeks with this moon-boot foot brace. I walked at a pace that was slightly slower than crawling. I couldn't exercise. I was the epitome of grumpiness. The only things that got me through it all were my vicodin prescription (not ashamed to admit it) and my loving boyfriend who took me to the hospital in the first place and carried me around for the first few days of my injury.

    I remember thinking, "Once I am healed, I will NEVER, EVER take my feet for granted again." And I really haven't.

    ReplyDelete

Thanks for visiting my blog. I appreciate all those who share and leave their comments very much. Laurel

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