I was away from the office the first half of this week due to a scheduled medical
procedure. Everything went well, but the doctor ordered what was essentially 48
hours of bed rest. That was a new experience for me. I’m usually pretty active
(okay, really active) so it came as a bit of a shock. I’m just not used to laying down
doing nothing all day long.
While I was lying on the couch, staring off into space, my mind drifted to a
seminary class on caring for the sick. Among other things, we talked about how
those who are sick are potentially closer to or, perhaps, more aware of God. The
disruption of one’s usual routine creates a unique opening for God, whose
presence we often just autopilot around.
If I’m being honest—and I am—while I was lying there on the couch, that idea
didn’t hold much water. My routine was certainly disrupted. But it didn’t feel like
God stepped into that gap. Instead, I found an intense longing for my usual
routine. I missed taking my daughter to school. I was sad that I couldn’t go into the
office to whittle away at my to-do list. I hated that I couldn’t exercise. I chafed
against the intentional purposelessness of just lying there, waiting for my body to
heal, while my mind was all too happy to list off everything I wasn’t accomplishing.
It was only by choosing to do nothing, despite wishing I could do one of any
number of things, that God showed up. Or perhaps it was that making that choice
again and again, against my own desire, finally cracked me open to God. I’m not
very good at not doing, but that’s my problem—not God’s. Lying there inert forced
me to remember that I’m beloved of God whether I accomplish anything or not.God’s love for us is inherent, unchangeable, permanent. It doesn’t matter whether
we do or don’t, whether our things are done or left undone, God loves us just the
same. No matter what.
In the end, I’m happy to be moving about again (I really am bad at being inactive)
but I’m grateful for my little fast from activity. I’m always grateful to reconnect
with God, whatever the circumstances.
Have a blessed Lent, friends.
Yours in Christ,