Thanks for stopping by, whether you got here by a link or hitting "next blog" -- I am glad you are here. I've also done some writing on homeschooling, and what I learned thinking I was teaching.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Back Spasms and other Lessons

Returning to Texas, Doug spotted a treasure: the Bradford pear trees – the ones that had shaded my desk in the hot summer – and later, exposed me to winter sun – are flowering again! These  trees, however,  are a mixed blessing. They probably were not the kind of tree that the psalmist or the prophet had in mind when they commended the steadfast faith by which we live. (Psalm 1:3-4; Jeremiah 17:7-8) Yes, they proffer a lush canopy of green in hot weather from early spring to right through to late autumn. But, they are prone to collapse, especially after hard winters – which we surely had this year! So, months from now, with only a burst of wind, they could split apart, changing a shady spot to an oh so sunny spot.

I had an unexpected collapse in Maryland: my lower back rebelled. Bending lifting and turning  stressed my back muscles into rebellion. OTC’s  reduced or masked the pain – but  the pain often broke through, taking my breath away; spasms stopped even the simplest movements. It surely felt like something at my core snapped and I had to surrender completely to the couch and the care of others.

For a recovering control freak, this was not my idea of a good cure. But pain breaks the grip of even the most determined controllers. Rest and heat, though, reined in the rebellious muscles.
And I discovered that prayer can break pain’s grasp. From my granddaughter’s prayers, to a former pastor’s prayers, my husband’s prayers – and my daughter’s, mercifully, the pain subsided. (James 5:17-20)

That bout also showed me again how unproductive self-absorption is. Just when I settled down to enjoy a pity party, God brought to mind others coping with extraordinary afflictions; recalling their battles was a great short-circuit to my pain!  What is a muscle spasm compared to the convulsions people in Haiti and Chile endure? Or, what has been my limited discomfort compared to my friends’ battles  against cancer and terminal MS?

If it is true, as the Latin proverb declared, “In time of sickness the soul collects itself anew,"  I am renewed, and relieved;  I am again upright and moving – enjoying the breezes that may yet do in those pear trees.

“God whispers to us in our pleasures, speaks to us in our conscience, but shouts in our pains: It is His megaphone to rouse a deaf world.”  (C S Lewis - The Problem of Pain

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