Wednesday, February 15, 2012

How Do You Eat A Peppermint?

I wish I could savor the sweet coolness of the red and white disk. Letting it slowly dissolve as my saliva washes away each granule of sugar. As the shape reduces, tiny holes perforate the sliver of now white candy; you know those spaces that allow you to apply suction through them to your cheek or lip. It thins, the edges become sharp, then it crumbles and is gone.

That rarely happens. Rather:

I so enjoy peppermint candy that I get two at a time—with Earl’s help. I first get them slick and pocket one in my right cheek, and begin chipping away at the other. I can sometimes break off such small pieces that they seem a waste but they're not. You see each small burst of flavor is as appreciated as a reward for doing good. I devour each lozenge quickly. Why? For that strong burst of pleasure!

While enjoying my peppermints one evening I thought, "Am I this way with God?" Instead of taking my time and enjoying each, and every moment that He gives me, do I burst through an experience, an emotion, a moment in time, for the instant reward? Do I live for Him or do I live for what He gives me?

Father, Open my eyes, my ears, and my spirit that I may seek Your face and consciously savor what You desire for me. In His name, Amen

You desire truth in the inward being; therefore teach me wisdom in my secret heart. (Psalm 51:6)

In Christ Alone,

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Yes. You. Can.

When I came home from rehab five months after my spinal cord injury, I couldn’t hold my head up. I couldn’t speak above a whisper. And I couldn’t stay alone. I spent all my days reclined in my power wheel chair with my eyes closed.

Surgery to fuse my broken neck vertebra nine months later helped and I slowly gained strength in my neck, shoulders and arms. Though I became more able, I didn’t participate in my daily life. I expected Earl to take care of business.

“Berta, I want you to make your own appointments.”

My heart raced, “No.”

“Yes. Start by keeping up with your doctor’s appointments and your prescription medicines.”

Overwhelmed at the thought of exposing myself to people and how they might react to my disability; I refused.

He insisted.

I cried. “I can’t.”

He said, “Yes, you can!”

I got started. I created a list of my doctors and their telephone numbers. I set up a file of my medicines, including all the information I needed to order them. I discovered a calendar program on my computer and filled it in.

“Berta, when’s your next doctor’s appointment?”

“I don’t know.”

“Check your calendar.”

“Did you order your medicine?”

“No. I forgot.”

“Do it now.”

In our seventh year, he approached my Sunday school teacher, “Ask Berta to teach your class one Sunday a month.” I hesitated for a moment before agreeing.

“Berta, would you lead a Bible study for young women?” I did. “…write for the church newsletter…?” I did.

Earl continued to encourage me. Sometimes it was more forceful than I wanted. Today I’m thankful. I would not be who I am if he had not used tough love to bring me back to the living.

While talking to a new friend about his pushing me to do things for myself, Earl overheard me and commented, “I don’t know how she does all that she does today!”

It is good for me that I was afflicted, that I might learn Your statutes. --Ps 119:71 ESV

In Christ Alone,