In the Midst of Sickness

Friday, February 27, 2009

Head pounding, throat aching, nose stuffed, I lounged on the couch the day after my birthday. Too tired to read, I didn’t even feeling like watching a nice, comforting chick flick. Coughs shook my body. Sneezes seemed to shake the whole house. But in the midst of my sickness, I was not alone.

A bowl was handy, just in case my stomach decided to stop working along with nearly every other part of my body. When Joshua asked about it, I told him candidly what it was for. "I’ll throw up in it," he offered. Suddenly both Joshua and Lucy were leaning over the bowl making fake gagging noises. And despite the aches, I laughed.

With the mail came a birthday card from a church friend.

"Gladsome be your days and bright
Joyful may your birthday be
God’s love be your unerring light
His presence your serenity
The lettering was elegant, the flowers dainty, and the thought that came with the card was cheering.

After another day of lying around wishing for the unimpeded use of my nostrils, Joshua brought me the next batch of mail. Along with a Comcast advertisement came a letter from one of my best friends. Full of sweet memories of a long friendship, promising a mysterious gift that I have to wait for, and containing many pleasant things about myself, this letter also brought joy to my soul.

And each night Eli came home from work, changed diapers, entertained the kids, kept up on the dishes, and looked at me with concern in his eye.

But the tiniest blessing that warmed my heart while the fever raged and my nose streamed was the most special of all. Because I was lying so still for most of the day, I felt many kicks and touches from the baby within me. Often she would jump when I coughed or sneezed, but sometimes I would feel her stretch or roll over when I was just resting. And then, despite the throbbing, aching pains, I would smile.

Now that I am getting better, I have a much greater appreciation for two clear nostrils through which air can freely flow. I’m newly glad for the ability to swallow without thought. I would praise God every time I bend over without throbbing pain in my head except that the effort is so easy I don’t think about it.

But I am praising God for the community in which I live. Thoughtful friends, children who make me laugh, a loving husband, and the tiny touch of an unborn daughter are all manifestations, even in the midst of sickness, of His love for me.

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