Tuesday, April 12, 2011


As I sit, looking from the window in my family room, I can see the kids down with their bikes.  My oldest is riding fearlessly down the street without training wheels, the look of triumph painted brightly on his face.  The twins are riding as well, up and down the street.  My youngest wants to get her training wheels off in the worst way.  I see my wife patiently showing her what to do, all the while my daughter ignores the instructions, with thoughts of riding free and on her own, the wind blowing wildly through her hair.

I stare down at my lap enmeshed in the thought that this represents a great triumph.  Just a year ago my oldest was worried that the other kids would make fun of him since he still had training wheels.  The twins were barely on the bikes, and mom was tasked with running them up and down the street one at a time.  Yes they had come a long way.

I look back up through the glass and realize its existence.  It is clear, letting light and images through, but it is solid at the same time keeping the outside and all it represents safely on the other side.

The outside represents pain in so many ways to me.  There is the driveway that seems to go straight up the side of the mountain, keeping me stranded at the top or bottom of it wondering how I will make the return trip.  There is the yard that is unkempt because of my three year imprisonment, and there is the weather.  In the winter it locks me in the house, unable to venture out for the fear of falling, and in the summer the blistering heat threatens to once again overpower my nervous system, sending me on another emergency trip to the hospital.

This isn't how it was supose to be.  I can see in my minds eye pictures of me running behind my son as he gains the courage to ride without support.  I see a game of catch, or freeze tag.  In the autum I am there raking the leaves as the kids run and jump happily messing up my days work.  But that is not my reality.

The pain out side is not merely the physical barriers in my life, but also the emotional.  In my reality I sit here on the couch watching the world go by.  Oh I function.  I can do the laundry, wash dishes, and cook meals.  I even have a great bedtime ritual with the kids saying prayers, that is of course when I am not too tired or in too much pain.

I look back down into my lap and all I can think is "pathetic".  I am so pathetic!  I am not the father I wanted to be. Nor am I the husband that I should be.  Writhing in self pity I can think of nothing good, nothing decent.  It is as though the life is being sucked from me one moment at a time.

Distructive thinking and destructive thoughts.  This is not what God wants for me.  He wants me to shine through the pain and barriers of my illness.  He wants me to show the world that not even the sickness of this fallen world can keep me from the will that God has in my life.

I slowly struggle to get up off the couch.  I grab my cane, and head out to tackle the mountain once again.  After a long and painful trip down the driveway, I embrace the success of the chalange I have just overcome.  My wife gets me a folding chair, and I sit down triumphantly.  Once again a part of the family.  Oh I might not be up pushing the kids bikes, and I may be in a great deal of pain, but this is where God wants me.

Feeling or acting pathetic is the sin that God weeded out of me today.  I now understand that those type of thoughts are not from Him, so I will reengage as I can, live as I might, and fight back any urge at self pitty.

You see I am not pathetic, for I am a fearfully and wonderfully made creation of God my Father, and he loves me no matter what I do.

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