The bitter and the sweet…

He never walked the same after that.  Really, he didn’t.  And it wasn’t a private limp, either.  One can’t hide a limp that is caused by a hip joint being intentionally wrenched out of its socket.

And she never walked the same either.  Hers didn’t come in a  grand way  like “I was wrestling with God the other day and…”  It was a fairly little take out the diseased appendix surgery in a fairly little hospital in Guatemala and when she woke from the anesthesia there was a f airly little dizziness and a fairly loud ringing in her ear and she thought her hearing was a  bit different…

We went camping last week for four absolutely glorious days.

                                                                                       getting ready to go…

I love the times when it’s not a “it was a blessing” said by faith –  I really really love those times that it is an obvious blessing.  I am grateful for those many times.   This was one of those times when God gives you more than you could ever imagine or ask for.  A perfect campsite: secluded, on a point, views of the lake from both sides…

sunset from our campsite…

A perfect lake, a s beautiful as a  Montana lake.  The first we’d found of this kind of beauty; canoeing with a canoe loaned to  us from new dear friends, a canoe which fits all five of us;  perfect swimming, clear clean water and a sandy beach; perfect laughter and enjoyment as we found again the rhythm of family, apart from life’s  daily business…

happy happy kids…

And to crescendo the perfectness, on  the last night God providentially gave us an unexpected delight in meeting these two friends who loaned us the canoe – who were camping in the same place, unbeknownst to either of  us!  they were at the other end of the campsite, and happened to take a stroll on  their last night and saw a canoe on top of a van – a canoe that looked vaguely familiar, with Maryland tags – and followed the steps down to our spot on the point –  who but God??

But – O, I wish those buts weren’t in this life –  the “but  God” buts are good, but some buts are just plain stinky, and nighttime came, as it always does, and there is always The Dreaded Trip to the Bathroom In The Dark.  And, since my “limp”,  I don’t navigate well even in the daytime,  let alone the  nighttime, and add camping and rough terrain and dark and…well, I walk as if I am somewhat intoxicated  and for the life of me I can’t walk a straight line.

I am proud but not stupid, and know I can’t possibly reach the bathroom alone on the trail.  This meant, that first night, even with Tom in front of me,  me  holding his hand tight, I still managed to trip over three  of the ropes holding down the tarp to our tent (the kids, when we returned to the tent: “Wow Mom, how’d you hit every one?  It was like an earthquake in here!“).

And as I walked behind Tom in the dark, all I could mutter to myself was ” You are so Stupid, Stupid, Stupid.”  I hated  myself at that moment.  I really, really did.  I HATED being so dependent on Tom, or one of the kids, to walk straight by myself.  To have to  grab ones shoulder like a blind  man.  I hate with a passion being needy and dependent.  And I DO call myself names at those times.

I am writing this in honesty and had a  point I was going to make – but as I just wrote the above,  He interrupted  me.  I am not kidding.  He just whispered to me!  And this is what He said,

O, My Beloved child, I call  you names at those times as well, but O, they a re life giving and not  life taking names…they bring smiles to your beautiful face and not tears…but you must Hear with your Other Ears, My Child…”

I am undone at this moment.  I have to think on this before I write more…


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