There’s been a falling out – but I never was good at keeping friends. The visitor is outstaying their welcome. Not that they were welcome in the first place, but you know what I mean (if you don’t, you may like to read the previous post).
The situation isn’t any worse – but I’m not sure it’s any better. Being in the house makes it fairly manageable – although I’d forgotten how tiring getting dressed can be. Pacing things continues to help. A little at a time. Reading, doing puzzles, a bit at the computer, (very) short walks, sleeping… I’ve also been grateful for ‘The Hundred’ being on TV too. Admittedly, the purists may feel it’s, well, ‘just not cricket’ but it has opened the game to many, many more who are unfamiliar with the traditional version.
As with many people who experience significant health issues, it’s the mental aspect that also presents its challenges. When it comes to going out, the visitor tells me: ‘If you walk that far, you won’t be able to manage to get back.’ ‘All those things you want to do – and you can’t,’ the inner voice says with a smirk. And often my response is: ‘I think… therefore I can’t.’
In the course of my working career (and in aspects of personal and family life) I have met many whose health, physical or mental, has caused much wider problems. It was not so much the medical condition itself that was ‘disabling’, it was the fear of making it worse that caused life itself to become diminished. Many have paid such a huge cost of living.
There is an irony in my current situation too – and it isn’t lost on me. In the next few weeks, two new books I’ve written are being published. One, Finding Stability in Times of Change is based on the occasion when the disciples were sailing across Lake Galilee – something they had done hundreds of times before – and a storm blows up. Life is going along quite normally and then something happens that changes everything. And didn’t we all know that in the pandemic – and continue to do so in that other cost of living crisis. Ultimately, though, it is the knowledge of how that story ends which can give all of us hope in such costly and difficult times: the storm will be calmed.
And alongside that hope, as also mentioned last time, the Psalms are a gift that keeps on giving in difficult periods. These are just two sections which I have found helpful, maybe you might too:
‘I waited patiently for the Lord; he inclined to me and heard my cry.
He drew me up from the desolate pit, out of the miry bog,
and set my feet upon a rock, making my steps secure.
He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear, and put their trust in the Lord.’ (Psalm 40:1-4)
And these words reflect so succinctly how we can both reach out to God in the storm and know that we are completely safe:
‘My soul clings to you, your right hand holds me fast.’ (Psalm 63:8)