Friday, January 28, 2011

A  friend today asked me how I was doing. That is, after all, the question almost anyone will ask when you start talking with them. Of course, I hesitated and wondered what to say. From the outside, this week has looked horrible. And yet I have hope that I do not care if no one sees but me. God provide hope for an answer I've searched for seemingly my whole life. Today was a day when the promise of that hope bloomed anew. So, I could have spoken of that. Only who could understand?

I cannot remember exactly what I said, but it was something about not knowing how to answer. As she started agreeing that, for me, it was a bit of a tricky question to answer. Most days, physically, I just don't feel well. I haven't since 1993. Mentally, I am oft better than I seem and oft worse. Spiritually, I am rich beyond measure, beyond even my own understanding, but I am also confused and conflicted and sometimes even despairing. How do I answer?

I told her that if she could teach me how to answer that question, it would be the greatest gift she could give. She tossed off an answer that has given me great pause: I am saved.

Isn't that great! I mean, think of the variations! "I am baptized." "I am forgiven." "I am marked as Christ's own." Right this very moment, I am just hankering for someone to call and ask me the question I have dreaded for so long. Of course, how long do you think it will take me learn to give that answer?

The fever persists, as does the nausea. And the cramps and roiling when I do eat. I have worked hard for three days to eat several times a day. Today, when I had to venture out, I nearly fainted twice and wobbled like a Weeble much of the time. Afterward, I took a long nap, which was more continuous sleep than I have had in a while because I have near constant leg cramps. Again, I have been thinking how much is too much? Venturing out, though needful and necessary, might have set me back, wiped out the small gains I have made.

Am I better than two weeks ago when nausea shifted from a constant nuisance to taking over my life? I actually believe the nausea is better. Not the fever, but the nausea. The past three nights I have awoken with asthma, but did not have to nebulize. I am stronger. I am walking about the house more and sitting up more. But oh so still tired.

Today, while lying in the green chair thinking about my many mistakes, I turned my mind away from them and pondered my innards. I think the best way to describe how I feel is as if there foam in my stomach. Do you think that will make sense to anyone in the medical field should my eat more-continue to rest-try Activia plan not gain ground?

Truly, the hardest part of the past two weeks has been missing having the Living Word poured over me, hearing the Gospel, and receiving the Lord's Supper. Since I have struggled to concentrate, I have barely read and have studied little, though more today than any other. Mostly, I am a cognitive slob.

Someone made a remark about my baptism earlier this week. I have been thinking about that ever since. You know what would be a good idea? A little book like Bonhoeffer's treatise on the Psalms that plumbs the depths of our baptism. Of course, lacking such a book, we can always turn to Pastor Weedon's annual reports to learn who we are as a baptized child of God.

I am baptized.

I have been snatched from the evil one.
I am washed in the Triune name.
I am marked as Christ’s own.
I am covered in the holy blood.
I am united to my Savior’s death and resurrection.
I am anointed by the Spirit.
I am aglow with the light of Christ.
I am claimed by Christ, His own little sister.
I am taken beneath His wings.
I am an heir of all His own inheritance.
I have been filled with His divine life.

I am baptized.

Lord, I believe.  Help my unbelief!

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