I've been in bed, either in a hospital or at home, for an entire week now. Finally I am felling better and more like my "normal" self. But severe illness was wholly alienating to me as a young(-ish?) adult. I had to gather up my strength and focus if I wanted to turn from one side to the other in bed. I pressed a call button and waited for a nurse to come and help me to the bathroom or to refresh my medications. Once home, a big day consisted of getting the energy up to sit in a chair for a few hours instead of my bed. I found I didn't know how to be "sick." Despite my certainty that I had left the impossible folly of my teenage youth behind, I found myself confounded by a circumstance that assured me I was not invincible or immortal. Apparently I still thought I was untouchable, and this episode had come to teach me otherwise.
"I need Thee, oh I need Thee. Every hour I need Thee," says the famous hymn. I thought I had as deep an understanding of that sentiment as possible. But there was, and ever remains, more room to grow in understanding that of myself I can do nothing, it is the Christ within me. I became dependent on God for life, comfort, movement and healing with a new and urgent kind of intimacy.
My faith has grown in this last week because I could no longer lay any claim, however subconscious, to the egotistical thought that I was the source of my own power and life. Being sick will teach you that every moment and movement is a gift from God.
Some, like myself on this occasion, get out of their sickbeds while others breath their last in them. I pray we all, whatever the outcome, feel the kind of closeness and dependence on a loving and giving Source that I have this week. Being sick has taught me the calm assurance that I am not alone and that it is not all up to me. Thank God!