Despite my best efforts to take care of myself, I seem to catch a doozy of a cold or sinus infection a couple of times a year. Just as the seasons are changing, and I want so badly to go and do and enjoy. Just as I get the busiest.
I guess this is one of those times for me. I've been rocking a fever all week that has left my body very achy. Sometimes I cough and cough and cough until it hurts to breathe. And my throat feels like I've been swallowing steel wool. I don't have a voice to talk. I wouldn't wish this on anyone.
But, I think there is a certain holiness about being sick--not something that can or should be sought, but an opportunity to make the most of when it comes your way. Though there are thousands of things you're supposed to be doing, you know that you're pretty much useless. So you excuse yourself for a little while, delight in the feel of your softest pjs, and read the book that's been calling your name for weeks. You sleep some, and eat some, and pray some.
My sweet husband has been taking care of me, and my cats and dogs all pile on the bed, as if napping beside me will make me feel better. And it does. There is something very vulnerable about being sick, about knowing that you don't have it all together enough to take care of yourself, about letting the love of others surround you when you need it most. Perhaps just at the moments when I have the most to do, God says "Be still (literally "cease striving", from the Hebrew) and know that I am God. And on days like this, all I have the energy to do is listen, and allow myself to be loved and cared-for. And for today, anyway, that is enough.
"Graceland" is the name of my favorite song and album. It's by Paul Simon, but more importantly, it's what "home" sounds and feels like to me. We always listened to this album as we traveled from my home in Tennessee to my parents' childhood homes in Florida. But today, it's also a pretty good snapshot of my theology. Somewhere I really believe that the Christian journey is all about a wild trip to Grace-land. As I see it, Grace-land is the place where God is waiting to meet even us–with all the baggage and brokeness that we tote with us. Grace-land is the place where we will be received with open arms, even though our attempts at “getting it right” have been miserable failures at best. But, I think, every step we take is a step on the journey to Graceland.