Wednesday, September 19, 2018

Day three...

For much of my life, I have stood like a flamingo, one leg tucked up and angled out.  I am not sure why.  I just did.  I do not stand like that anymore, but I do sleep that way.  I lie on my side, but angled forward, with one leg out and one tucked up, the sole of my foot flat against my thigh.  Funny that I noticed how much more comforted I feel when my legs are that way in bed than not.

Is that a weird thing to note?

Day Three Agenda:

Take Amos out
Cool down
Take Amos out
Feed Amos
Make dinner

Yes, I made it to church.  Thankfully.  It has been such an incredibly blessing to have the Word of the Lord in my ears again and Christ' body and blood in my own.  I am thankful that Becky helped me to gird my loins enough to try to find a church where I could ... well, where I might could belong.  And one that is more accessible!  My goodness are churches lacking in accessibility!!

My new GP is Catholic and talks about her faith some.  She's involved in furthering medical ethics and oft tells me about the conferences that she attends.  Because they are Catholic ones, there is usually a day or at least a time of silence and reflection accompanying the workshops.  She works insanely long hours, so her continuing education and ethics gatherings are pretty much the only non-work time in her life.

She helped me out with a couple of things, so as a thank you, I bought her a copy of Bonhoeffer's book on the Psalter.  It is small and easy to cart around, but she's so busy she hasn't read much!  Therefore, I got the idea to read her a little bit and a psalm at the end of my monthly appointments.  I'll give you one guess as the to first psalm I read to her!

I dearly and deeply miss having anyone to talk Bible stuff with on a regular basis.  I know that she reads hers and spends time in the Psalter as do I.  My appointments are usually on Friday afternoons, being the last one of the day.  She told me once that she looks forward to my appointments because she will learn something.  [That's the mixed blessing of being a complex patient.]  I thought, Why not learn something about the Psalter, too?

At least it is a way to encourage another person.  I try hard to encourage others in my life, but I feel as if my life has become ALL ABOUT ME and I am sorely lacking in the encouraging department.

But reading my GP from and about the Psalter is a way of thanking her for the incredible amount of time and effort she takes in trying to help me.  My appointments are 60-90 minutes long, and she oft ends up studying something about my condition(s) in between them.  She also writes me on the messaging system during the month to check in or respond to my questions.  I am blessed by her.

I think that that is what I wish I could do, if I am to have this small, small life of the chronically ill.  I wish that I could go places and read folk from the Psalter and Bonhoeffer's book.  You know, just be the Psalter lady.  I really do believe that everything in this life is in the prayers of the Psalter.  It isn't necessary to come up with your own words to comfort or speak to someone.  Just read.  Heck, even if you have an angry, bitter person, well, then, there is still a psalm for him/her.

It never ceases to awe me just how much God demonstrates that we are intimately known as I read through the psalms.  And I love, love, LOVE when someone else revels in them.

There is this article about depression:  Pastoring Amid Depression.  In it, the author writes:

I began to realize that the Psalms were filled with words from desperate, sad, hopeless, and confused believers. They had words for me that I didn’t know I needed. What was a deeper, more surprising comfort was that they were inspired by God, who knows what men and women need to say when we don’t know what to say. God knows how desperate we can get and has provided words for us to say in those times. “Here,” he says, “use these words. They’ll help.” Yes, the Spirit groans for us when we lay wordless like a frail leaf, but the Psalms provide words, language, for when our souls need to reach for expression. “My soul melts away for sorrow.” Psalm 119:28; “I am worn out from my groaning.” Psalm 6:6. “My life is consumed by anguish and my years by groaning; my strength fails because of my affliction, and my bones grow weak.” Psalm 31:10. “Let not the deep swallow me up.” Psalm 69:15. “For my soul is full of troubles … I am a man who has no strength.” Psalm 88:3.

These words can feel like emotional handlebars as we try to make sense and grapple with our experiences.

Is that not just lovely?

To realize that we are known, truly known, by our Creator, even in our darkest moments, is one of the greatest comforts there is.  Life is not all leaping and singing songs of praise.  Sometimes it is stumbling and groaning deep despair.  From joy to sorrow and everything in between, there is a prayer to pray, one that Jesus has and is praying, in the Psalter.

Just like the Prego slogan of the 80s:  "Prego. It's in there!"

The Psalter.  It's in there!

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